Nature lovers protest building of roads, tunnels through hills

Apr 22, 2013, 03:11 IST | Sukirt D. Gumaste

Under the HCMTR project, three major roads and a few tunnels have been proposed

Nature lovers and citizens conducted a campaign for signatures at Vetal and Taljai hill area yesterday against the various proposed projects of the development plan (DP) related to hill-tops.

A road from Balbharati to Paud Phata, Panchavati to NCL and two kilometres of road and tunnels under the HCMTR project have been proposed in the DP. All these roads will go through various hills.

Along with that the hill-tops will be converted into recreational zones. The protesting nature lovers at Vetal and Taljai conveyed the information about the DP provision to citizens and collected signatures for a petition against the proposed project on the hill side.

“The Vetal Tekadi in the Bhamburda Forest area is one of our natural heritages and an oasis of serenity and greenery in the heart of the city. We are very disturbed to read about certain proposals in the DP, which we fear will destroy the identity of a hill forever.

Many people don’t even know about these provisions in the new plan. These development projects will disturb the ecology and will not be beneficial for the environment of the city. I have been visiting Vetal Tekadi for many years. So me and my daughter have actively participated in this activity and collected more than 200 signatures”, said Varsha Sahastrabuddhe, one of the nature lovers.

Various NGOs like Tekadi, Parisar, and local Mohalla Committee participated in the protests. In the letter they have specified their demand to scrap the projects, which goes through the hills.

Their objection to the road going from Panchavati and NCL to the proposed reservation PK9 was because it will vitiate the environment on the hill top. It serves no useful purpose other than catering to the needs of the proposed amusement park. It will lead to vehicular traffic on the hill with all the attendant problems of pollution and congestion.

“We have collected more than two thousand signatures. We will submit our objections to the PMC. They have proposed the project without any study or consultation. There is no point in cutting existing trees and disturbing the environment for the development project,” said Madhavi Rahirkar, committee member of National Society for Clean Cities. 

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