Shivajinagar, 20th January 2024: The revenue and forest department of the Maharashtra state government have given in-principle approval for allocating the site of the botanical garden to the municipal corporation. This approval is for establishing a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) center at the College of Agriculture, as part of the city’s sewage treatment project.
The municipal administration has been instructed to send a revised demand proposal to the state government through the State Biodiversity Board for acquiring the necessary land for the municipal corporation’s STP center.
Various sewage treatment centers have been planned across the city to address the growing sewage concerns. Existing plants are operational at locations like Kharadi, Bhairobanala, Naidu Hospital, Warje, and Vadgaon. Additionally, a municipal pumping station is proposed at the Botanical Garden, situated under the Agricultural College on Ganeshkhind Road.
The site, initially proposed in the development plan for a sewage treatment plant and connecting road, faced technical challenges due to its designation as a Biodiversity Heritage Area by the State Government’s Forest Department. The central government team conducted an inspection, offering guidance on resolving the issues at the botanical garden a few months ago.
In a meeting held in December at the Forest Department’s Principal Secretary’s office in Mumbai, senior officials discussed the matter. Attendees included the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Secretary of the State Biodiversity Board, Regional Chief Conservator of Forests, Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, Chief Engineer, Conservator of Forests, and Associate Research Director of the National Agricultural Research Project.
The meeting focused on the proposal to exclude the designated Biodiversity Heritage Area from the Sewage Treatment Plant and connecting roads. Following this, the revenue and forest department ordered the municipal corporation to submit a comprehensive proposal, seeking necessary amendments to the heritage area notification through the state biodiversity board.
Prashant Waghmare, City Engineer of the Pune Municipal Corporation, mentioned that a meeting with concerned authorities has taken place regarding the space required for the sewage treatment plant. Based on their recommendations, the site has been inspected, and a revised proposal for site demand will soon be submitted by the Municipal Corporation through the State Biodiversity Board. This development signals the acceleration of the sewage treatment project in Pune.