The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to initiate a clean-up drive at five hills in the city — Taljai, Parvati, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) tekdi, Chatushrungi and Hanuman tekdi.
The clean-up drive will be a joint venture between the civic body, the forest department and several non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
“About 1,284 acres of land of these five hills falls under PMC’s jurisdiction. These hills had been facing several issues, including garbage dumping.
Unfortunately, several places such as Thube Park at Taljai hills are being used as boozing spots,” PMC Additional Commissioner (General) and Chief Garden Superintendent Naresh Zurmure said.
“All the staff members from their respective wards along with NGOs will be doing the cleaning work. Also, students and staff members of Bharati Vidyapeeth will be assisting us for the ‘Pune Biennale’, for which the PMC will be providing logistic support.”
The reason PMC joined hands with Bharati Vidyapeeth was for its big art, culture and environmental festival that has been schedule for January 2013.
“We are with the PMC and have already undertaken a massive tree plantation drive at ARAI tekdi. Dumping garbage in the hills is a big menace. Continuous monitoring will put an end to this habit. The hills are city’s oxygen cylinders and therefore they must be kept clean and free of encroachment,” President of Green Hills NGO Sunil Athawale said.
Deputy Conservator of Forest Rajendra Kadam confirmed that the department is working with the civic body and NGOs to clean the five hills. “To begin with, we planted over 13 lakh trees on those hills with the help of NGO like Green Hills and Nature Walk.