The increasing amount of plastic in articficial ponds in the wildlife sanctury of Bhimashankar have left the forest auhorities worried.
Bhimashankar is amongst one of the 12 Jyotirlings in India which is in proximity of a wild life sanctuary known as Bhimashankar Wild Life Sanctuary (BWLS).
To curb the plastic problem, two NGO's have come forward citing that it will collect plastic and recycle it for making oil for villagers.
Plastic was creating choke at the Bhimashankar sanctuary which is around 140 kilometers from Pune near Ambegoan and Khed. Despite having various signboards and restraining people, vistors and devotees dump their plastic water bottles, food wrappers on ground.
Chief Conservator of Forest Wildlife Pune division Sunil Limaye said, "The sanctuary is spread more than 100 kilometers in Western ghat which connects the river Bhima and Ghod originating from this area. This is a dense forest with rare flora and fauna. The giant squirrel is one of the asset of this forest and the temple of Lord Shiva is one of the 12 jyotirlingas in this country. The plastic garbage is threatening the flora and fauna of the area. While digging for artificial ponds for animal, we realised that plastic materials were dumped and buried under the soil. Hence we developed Village eco development committee which is doing well under forest department but still there are some people who are creating nuisanace."
He added, "To overcome it initially scrap dealers were given such task but it did not yield well so Pune based NGO’s like Tellus organisation and Rudra Environmental Solutions have come together and every Thursday their volunteers will be cleaning up the area and collecting the material. Such materials will be recycling such plastic into fuel which is substitute to kerosene in rural areas of Pune."