Pune: Once upon a time, residing in the Cantonment area of the city was considered to be a matter of pride. But the place does not seem to be holding onto its aura. The fact springs out from the decline in its numbers of voters.
According to the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) voters list, there were 59,594 registered voters in 2008. The number reduced to 40,739 in 2011 and further declined to 40,621 in the latest December 2013 data.
Various reasons are being cited for the decrease in the number of voters, but according to the elected members, the administration is partly to be blamed.
“There is shortage of space within the PCB limits. The authorities have not increased the floor space index (FSI), compelling people to shift to the municipal corporation areas,” said Aarti Mahajan, PCB’s vice-president.
According to All India Cantonment Boards Vice president and members association general secretary Vinod Mathurawala, PCB is not seriously perusing the formalities required in transferring of property.
“Moreover, the facilities that self help groups of other Municipal Corporation avail, are not in place for the PCB residents. Even the schoolchildren do not get any free student pass plying on the PMPML buses,” he adds.
Moreover, there are a lot of joint families in the Cantonment area but they do not prefer to stay in the dilapidated buildings since they pose a risk to their lives. “Therefore, they have shifted outside the area as the PCB does not give permission to repair old buildings,” added Mathurwala.
Besides, around three per cent of the voters population has died. “Also, the girls in the families residing there have gotten married and shifted to their new homes,” said Shailesh Bidkar, a corporator.
Sanjay Phatke, a resident of Wanawadi who shifted from Camp to Wanawadi, said, “Once, living in the PCB area was a matter of pride.
However, there are no amenitities neither SSG are given any demand in PCB area. Just mere staying at a place with no facilities is of no use. We have shifting out of the cantonment area since the authorities were refusing to allow repair of old building, reconstruction or extra FSI.”
PCB’s chief executive officer K. Venkat Nagi Reddy refused to comment on the issue when contacted.