Pune: Housing Federation Threatens Strong Protest if PCMC Fails to Act on Scrap Shop Concerns

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Varad Bhatkhande

Pimpri Chinchwad, 17th April 2024: Concerns over the safety of citizens in Pimpri Chinchwad have been raised following multiple incidents of fires in scrap shops and illegal factories. These fires not only endanger innocent lives but also contribute to pollution and pose a risk of larger-scale disasters. In light of these issues, Sanjivan Sangale, president of the Chikhali-Moshi-Charholi-Pimpri Chinchwad City Housing Society Federation, has addressed a letter to PCMC Commissioner Shekhar Singh urging action.

In his letter, Sangale points out that there are numerous illegal, unauthorized scrap shops in Pimpri Chinchwad, particularly in the Kudalwadi Chikhali area, where he estimates five to six thousand such shops exist without permits. These scrap shops engage in the nighttime burning of plastics and iron melting, as well as the burning of other chemical-rich materials, which leads to significant pollution and fire hazards.

These activities have frequently led to fires in the area, causing pollution and posing a severe risk to public safety. Sangale expresses concern that the fires could lead to catastrophic outcomes, especially given the presence of two major petrol pumps in the area. If a fire were to spread to these pumps, it could result in extensive destruction and loss of life.

In response to these concerns, Sangale has requested that the PCMC take immediate action to remove all unauthorized scrap shops. Additionally, he urges the municipal corporation to cut off water and electricity supplies to these unauthorized establishments to prevent further incidents.

Sanjivan Sangale said, “Five to six thousand unauthorized shops are operating in the Kudalwadi area. These unauthorized scrap shops receive water and electricity from PCMC while tax-paying residents struggle to access water. PCMC Commissioner needs to address this issue and resist any political pressures to remove these shops and mitigate pollution. If no action is taken within the next two to three months, our federation will initiate a strong protest.”

PCMC Commissioner Shekhar Singh told Punekar News, “We have already begun taking action against illegal scrap shops, factories, and establishments. After the Talawade incident last year, in which people lost their lives, we surveyed over 40,000 similar locations. These establishments are often more than 40-50 years old. We have instructed them to follow the PCMC’s fire safety guidelines, and some are complying. For those who are not complying, we will soon disconnect their water connections and take necessary actions against them.”