Chipko Movement in Pune : Stop Pune River Front Project : Pune residents to protest on April 29 against tree cutting

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In a reminiscent of the historic Chipko Movement that took place in India fifty years ago, activists in Pune are gearing up to protest against the proposed Pune RiverFront Project, which they claim will result in the illegal felling of thousands of trees along the Mula-Mutha riverbed.

The protest, organized under the banner of “Save Mula Mutha” and “CHIPKO ANDOLAN”, is scheduled to take place on April 29 at 5 PM, starting from Sambhaji Park gate and culminating at Garware Bridge via Riverbed Road. The activists are calling for a halt to the River Front Project, which they believe prioritizes beautification over environmental conservation.

The Chipko Movement was a pioneering environmental protest where villagers hugged trees to prevent them from being felled. The movement garnered international attention and led to the formulation of progressive forest conservation policies in India.

Activists in Pune are hoping to emulate the spirit of the Chipko Movement and raise awareness about the environmental impact of the Pune River Front Project. They are calling on the public to join them in large numbers to support their cause and save the trees, birds, and rivers of Pune.

The proposed Pune River Front Project aims to transform the riverfront into a commercial and recreational hub, with plans for construction of roads, promenades, and commercial spaces. However, activists argue that the project will have severe ecological consequences, including loss of green cover, destruction of bird habitats, and disruption of the river’s natural flow.

As concerns about climate change and environmental degradation continue to grow, the protest against the Pune River Front Project reflects a growing global awareness about the need to prioritize sustainability and conservation over short-term development goals. The activists are hopeful that their protest will draw attention to the urgent need to protect Pune’s natural resources and promote environmentally responsible development practices.

“Vishnoi Community women started this to save Khejadi, an important tree in desert, Sundarlalji took it forward to save Himalayas, and saving Devdar trees. We want to save our trees which are special to river banks. Save trees, save rivers” said Shaileja Deshpande, from Jeevitnadi

Nividita Kelapure