Controversial Redevelopment: Pune’s Old Wadas Allegedly Misused in Slum Rehabilitation Scheme

Share this News:

Pune, 12th December 2023: Chief Officer of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) has penned a letter to Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Commissioner Vikram Kumar, calling for the suspension of all constructions approved under the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme (SRA). The letter comes in light of revelations that old Wadas in the Peth area are allegedly being redeveloped as slums, raising concerns about compliance with regulations.

The heart of Pune’s central city hosts a substantial number of old Wadas and historic buildings. The Unified Development Control and Promotion Regulations for Maharashtra State provide guidelines for the redevelopment of these structures. However, numerous redevelopment projects have faced delays due to non-compliance.

The controversy stems from the misuse of the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme. If the SRA identifies an area resembling a slum and receives feedback from the concerned PMC department, it can be implemented in that location. Some builders, along with political agents and ward office officials, are accused of exploiting this provision, masquerading old Wadas in the central city as slums to benefit from the SRA scheme.

Notably, the SRA status reduces construction and development charges levied by the Municipal Corporation. Builders have also reportedly taken advantage of Transferable Development Rights (TDR) in the process. Former corporator Ujjwal Keskar alleged that PMC officials received Rs 30 per case, and approximately 70 permits were issued through this dubious practice. Similar complaints were lodged with the Commissioner, prompting the current investigation.

In response to the allegations, Commissioner Vikram Kumar has written to the Chief Officer of SRA, urging the suspension of permits issued under SRA for the redevelopment of old palaces and calling for an immediate halt to construction activities. The Commissioner has also requested a detailed report on the matter to be submitted to the Municipal Corporation.


To investigate the alleged irregularities, a committee has been formed comprising Superintending Engineer Yuvraj Deshmukh from the Building Department, Assistant Commissioner of the Estate & Management Department Mahesh Patil, and Executive Engineer of the Vigilance Department Dinesh Girola. PMC Commissioner Vikram Kumar assured that appropriate action would be taken against responsible officers and sub-engineers based on the committee’s report.

In a related development, a case report concerning the death of a nine-year-old boy in Baner, during construction, remains pending. The Commissioner had directed Superintending Engineer Yuvraj Deshmukh to submit a report within three days due to numerous complaints regarding the construction. However, a week later, the report is yet to be submitted, causing further concern and raising questions about construction safety in the city.