Citizens lead the way in keeping city green

As PMC sits on bio-diversity parks proposal for 5 yrs, over 2,500 people take initiative to create 2 gardens by planting 5,000 trees

Even as the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) sits on its long drawn out plan on bio-diversity parks (BDPs), environmentalist have already planted the seeds to maintain the green cover for the city's steadily increasing population.

A breath of fresh air: The bio-diversity park Smritivan that has been
developed on Paud Road by NGO Nisargasevak. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

They have gone ahead and developed two BDPs, even before the PMC could earmark land for them. "We are ready to develop more BDPs in the city with the PMC," said Dr Ramesh Godbole, president of Nisargasevak, an NGO, which took the initiative to develop the two BDPs on Paud Road and in Kothrud. "We had warned that the green cover of the city is diminishing owing to the burgeoning population and human habitats. Therefore many BDPs are required in and around the city."

Apart from the delay from the civic body, the BDP is also facing hurdles from political parties, which is yet to give a green signal to the new Development Plan (DP) for the city with its 23 merged villages.

The DP has still not taken off because of which the PMC is unable to reserve land for the BDP, officials said.
Godbole said the PMC has made a draft of DP for the city with its 23 merged villages, and a total of 978 hectares of land was reserved on hilltops and hill slopes.

The DP sent by the PMC is still lying with the Urban Development Department for the last five years, he said
Sites identified Naresh Zurmure, additional commissioner, garden department, PMC, said   the civic body had identified a total of 520 small and bigger sites in the city for tree plantations.

"We are ready to give some of them to NGOs such as Nisargasevak. These spots shall be used for planting trees to reduce the air pollution level of the city," he said. 

On the two BDP developed in the city, Ghate said, "We have planted over 5,000 trees naming these parks as Smritivan and Smruti Udyan respectively. Over 2,500 citizens were involved in both the projects," said Dr Vinaya Ghate, noted botanist and research scholar.

The two BDPs are developed on 5 and 5.5 acres of lands respectively where a variety of 110 species has been planted. The Kothrud land belongs to an educational institution and the PMC, she said.

The second project is near unused kachara depot (dumping yard) on Paud road. Bth the parks have a gamut of tree variety, including neem, banyan, peepul, sandalwood, raintrees, silver oak, mast tree, jamun and  laburnum, said Ghate.

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