Bhide Wada Demolished In Midnight Operation By PMC, Now National Memorial To Be Built – Pune Media
Budhwar Peth, 5th December 2023: In a joint operation between the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the police, the historic Bhide Wada, the site of the first school for girls established by Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule in 1848, was razed to the ground on Wednesday at 11 pm. This move marks a crucial step towards transforming Bhide Wada into a national memorial, as per a municipal corporation resolution.
The legal battle for possession of the land spanned 13 years, culminating in a Supreme Court decision in favour of the PMC after a favourable ruling by the Bombay High Court. The PMC was directed to take over the property from the landlord and tenants within one month, with the deadline expiring on December 3.
To prevent further delays, the PMC, in coordination with the police, initiated the land acquisition process on the 4th December (Monday) under police supervision. Notices were issued to the owners and tenants of Bhide Wada in the morning. Around 11 pm, approximately 50 personnel, armed with tools such as saws, hammers, and ropes, arrived at the site to execute the demolition.
The police took preventive measures to maintain order, deploying personnel and halting traffic on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Road. The meticulous operation involved removing streetlights, bollards, posters, flags, and shop signs from the Wada. Demolition commenced with the assistance of two JCBs, and part of the Wada collapsed during the process. The dilapidated structure was demolished as it posed a safety risk, and the road was immediately cleared of debris.
Vikas Dhakane, PMC Additional Commissioner, stated, “After the Supreme Court deadline, PMC planned to take possession of Bhide Wada with the help of police. At night, the police took possession of the building and handed it over to PMC. Rules have been followed while carrying out the legal process for this. The proceedings were conducted peacefully.”
Following the demolition, the Municipal Corporation initiated the planning process for a memorial to honour the contributions of Mahatma Phule and Savitribai Phule. Three architects have been tasked with the project, and preparations for laying the foundation stone are underway in the coming weeks.
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