Indore: Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court on Friday issued notices to the district administration and the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) on a petition challenging merger of 29 villages of 23 gram panchayats into the municipal area.

The petition was filed by advocate and AAP Lok Sabha candidate from Indore Anil Trivedi who stated that the notification issued for the merger is in violation of rules. Additional Advocate General Manoj Dwivedi said the court observed that delimitation of wards of the IMC will be subject to final outcome of the petition.

The administration and IMC together had planned in 2011 and the State Government had also issued a notification on February 5, 2013 for merger of 29 villages into the municipal limits. A year after that, the HC had quashed the notification on a petition filed by Trivedi observing that the due process was not followed to bring villages into the municipal area. The authorities were directed to call objections for the merger and issue a fresh notification in the matter.

The orders were adhered to and new notification was issued in March 2014 and it is now said that delimitation of municipal wards is in process for the civic body elections expected in the end of the year.Trivedi further said that the authorities were repeating the mistakes it did initially.

In his petition, he said that rural and urban areas of the State are governed by three acts- – Madhya Pradesh Panchayat Raj Act 1993, MP Nagar Palika Act 1961 and MP Municipal Corporation Act 1956.
“As per the rules, if any rural area shows characteristics of urbanisation, the Governor has power to declare that area as transitional and invite objection from its residents. After addressing objections, if any, the gram pachayat can be de-notified and then merged with the municipal limits.”

Unfortunately, in this case Mayor-in-Council passed a resolution in 2011 for expansion of the city limit and the government issued notification for merging select 29 villages into the municipal limits without de-notifying the gram panchayat.

Trivedi said that the IMC and the government should have thought before mooting the proposal of adding more villages to the city which is already facing dearth of basic amenities. Why to ruin life of both sides (rural and urban) of people just because you want an expansion of the city, he asked stating that the authorities lacked temperament over the matter.

The IMC is not able to take care of the residents in the existing limits, and it wants an expansion. Imagine plights of people if more areas are added to the city. It will deteriorate the civic amenities of the city and make life of the residents miserable,” said Trivedi.

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