Indore: In a major setback to the State Government, the Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court, on Monday quashed the gazette notification pertaining to merger of 29 villages into Indore municipal limits.

While hearing a PIL by advocate Anil Trivedi and Pramod Garg, Justices Shantanu Kemkar and MC Garg observed that the prescribed law in place was not followed for the merger and subsequently quashed the gazette notification released on February 5, 2013.

The petitioners said that the villages were under gram panchayats and the government without de- notifying the panchayats merged the villages with Indore Municipal Corporation, which was violation of rules.The district administration and the IMC had proposed to bring 29 villages of 23 gram panchayats into the IMC limits after which the government had issued a gazette notification.

Terming the notification as violation of rules, Trivedi and Garg had filed the PIL in the HC. The petition had stated that rural and urban areas are governed by three separate acts viz Panchayat Raj Act, MP Nagar Palika Act 1961 and MP Municipal Corporation Act 1956 and in this case the procedure for conversion of panchayat into a civic body was highly compromised.

As per the rules, if a gram panchayat witnesses characteristics of urbanisation then the government has power to declare that panchayat as ‘ transitional area’ and call objection and suggestions from the residents.After addressing the objections, the said gram pachayat is de- notified and then merged into the municipal limit.

But in this case, the Mayor- in- Council ( MiC) of IMC passed a resolution in 2011 for expansion of the city limits and gazette notification was released by the government in 2013 for merging of the villages into the IMC. Neither de- notification of the panchayats was done nor objections called as per the prescribed law.

“ The entire process was conducted in violation of the norms hence the notification was turned down,” Trivedi said.He also stated that the expansion plan of the city limit was contrary to the fundamental right of residents to live a good life.

“ Half of the city is still not getting water from tap, hygiene condition is pathetic as most of garbage on roads remains unattended, public transport vehicles are not in adequate numbers to cater to the existing population.

Completely failed to deal with the present situations, the IMC was looking forward to compound people’s woes by seeking expansion of its limits.”

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