Baner residents to hold one-day hunger strike to highlight Dev Nadi plight

Fifty residents from Baner and Balewadi yesterday decided to hold a one-day hunger strike to protest against the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for destroying over 1,000 bamboos and trees in the area and disturbing the natural flow of the river.

Destructive drive: An earthmover clears trees from a spot in the Dev Nadi basin in Baner

The agitation will be held in Baner near the Dev Nadi on June 29. Anupam Saraf, coordinator of the Baner Area Sabha, said that under the JNNURM the PMC had caused destruction to the environment near the Dev Nadi. He said the civic body had also failed to protect the environment in other parts of Baner.

“Over 1,000 bamboos were destroyed and 30 trees damaged in the PMC operation,” he said. “The PMC officials and contractors had no work orders, development plan or marking on the site and refused to produce these. It was pointed out to the PMC officials and contractors that they were acting in complete violation of the high court order of April 26.”

Saraf said Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak would now be invited to see the damage. “A tree plantation drive will be taken up by the Baner Corner Meeting,” he said. Additional City Engineer, PMC, Vivek Kharvadkar refuted the charges. “The HC is also observing us.

Whatever we are doing is in the larger interests of the people,” Kharvadkar said. “We are cleaning the river path to make the flow smooth after heavy rainfall. Our people have cut small thickets, not the trees.”

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