Taljai breathes again

In a bid to curb the menace of illegal tree cutting, liquor consumption, obscene acts by couples and encroachment of land on the Taljai hill near Parvati, the garden department of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and forest department have jointly deployed a team of 14 security guards, including four women, to keep a watch in the area since the past couple of months.

On the nature trail: A couple enjoys an evening walk through the greenery on Taljai hill

“A few months ago, Taljai hill was turning out to be a hotbed for several malpractices. After several complaints of illegal tree cutting were registered, we decided to take stringent action against the menace, and with the help of forest department decided to deploy security guards from the garden department at the hill round the clock,” Superintendent of Gardens Sunil Kesari said.

women security guards from the PMC garden department on duty on the lush green Taljai plateau yesterday. Pics/Krunal Gosavi

Booze parties
Kesari said that several people used to frequent the lush green plateau of Taljai to consume alcohol, because of which the hill was gaining notoriety.

He said that the encroachment of land on the hill was also a matter of grave concern and the surveillance was now turning out to be helpful.

“The results have been satisfactory so far, as a lot of malpractices have been curbed at the hill,” Kesari said.

Construction debris
He also stated that there were several instances wherein persons used to dump construction waste on the hills and also couples were spotted getting cosy in bushes. According to Kesari, after deployment of security guards, such wrongdoings have drastically reduced.

The Taljai plateau was gaining disrepute for its liquor parties, as several people would frequent the place with alcohol and indulge in binge drinking in the evenings. With the strict implementation by the garden department, such parties have stopped.

A woman security guard, Pranita Adsule, who has been deployed at the hill, said, “We have been assigned duties to keep a watch at the hill, and have been instructed by our higher-ups to maintain a vigil on illegal tree cutting, obscene acts by couples, liquor parties and dumping of construction waste.”

Help from police
Adsule said that officials of the Sahakarnagar police station have also provided them assistance and instructed them
to inform them about any illegal activities. Beat marshals from the police station visit the plateau periodically during the day.

In 2008, 58-year-old Dattatraya Yemul, owner of Peshwai Creations on Kumthekar Road, was murdered at Taljai hill. 

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