Pune, 11th January 2024: Puneसंवाद and other organizations, NGOs, Groups, and Citizens of Pune have raised their collective voice against the recent tree felling in Koregaon Park. A letter addressed to Vikram Kumar, Municipal Commissioner of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), and Rahul Ranjan Mahiwal, Metropolitan Commissioner of PMRDA, highlights the environmental impact and urges reconsideration of the development approach.
The letter states, “Recently, the removal of over 80 old-growth trees at the junction of North Main Road, merging into Kalyaninagar via the Aga Khan Bridge, has sparked concerns among various organizations, NGOs, groups, and citizens of Pune.”
Ameet Singh, representing Puneसंवाद, expressed the collective concern, saying, “While we understand the need for development, the extensive tree felling raises questions about the long-term impact on the environment. The memories of North Main Road adorned with banyan trees are fading as temperatures rise and green spaces diminish.”
Hema Chari, another concerned citizen, added, “Koregaon Park, once known for its balance of nature, is now grappling with various issues, including traffic congestion, skyscrapers, untreated sewage, water scarcity, and a depleted groundwater table. The recent tree removals exacerbate our concerns for the environment.”
The letter questions the reasoning behind the tree felling and seeks clarity on the long-term plans for development, especially in light of the city’s development and the alleviation of traffic congestion. Suggestions for alternative solutions, such as a dedicated free left to Kalyani Nagar, are proposed to reduce congestion without sacrificing the green cover.
The imminent reconstruction of railway bridge near St Mira’s College has drawn attention to the potential risk to significant old banyan trees. The letter proposes exploring alternatives, such as an elevated road from Yerwada Junction to RSI Chowk, to spare these valuable trees.
Ameet Singh and Hema Chari implore the authorities to consider transparent discussions and deliberations on alternative plans that prioritize the preservation of century-old trees. The letter emphasizes the importance of clean air, pure water, and uncontaminated soil in development plans, appealing to the authorities to address the urgent environmental concerns.
As Pune faces challenges in air quality and environmental degradation, the collective plea is for a reconsideration of the approach to development, fostering greater public trust and engagement in decisions impacting the environment.
Last date to submit objections is 15th January 2024. Click on this link to submit.