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Mumbai: Villagers demand autonomy, threaten to boycott election

Despite the real estate growth in the region the 27 villages in their jurisdiction have failed to keep pace with the development happening in the MMR (Mumbai metropolitan region).

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Trapped between a gram panchayat and a bankrupt Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) are residents of 27 villages in Kalyan and Dombivli. Since the last 15 years, these villages have been asking for their own municipal council. Now they threaten to boycott election if their demands are not heeded upon.

Despite the real estate growth in the region the 27 villages in their jurisdiction have failed to keep pace with the development happening in the MMR (Mumbai metropolitan region). "We have been neglected for more than a decade by the cash strapped KDMC and the apathetic MMRDA," alleged Gulab Vaze, President, 27 Villages Sangharsh Samiti.

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"When we had a gram panchayat we had all roads with proper street lights, sewerage and drainage lines. However, under KDMC till 2004 and from 2016 onwards, there has hardly been any development," said Gajanan Mangrulkar, a resident from Nilje village in Dombivli. "KDMC just wants to hike taxes without providing us any amenities," he alleges.

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Besides autonomy, their other important demands include – 10 growth centres as promised by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in 2015 to provide job opportunities. Hence, on April 7 the residents and the Samiti will hold a meeting to decide the future course of action.

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Demands

  • Autonomous municipal council
  • Set up 10 growth centres for employment
  • Regularse property registration done in the past 1.5 years when the hung between gram panchayat and KDMC
  • Better roads and infrastructure
  • Population 3 lacs
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