Controversy Erupts as Pune’s Smart City Project Pushes for Privatization of 6 Baner Based Parks

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Pune, known for its numerous parks maintained by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), is now facing a significant change under the Smart City project. The parks in Baner and Balewadi areas are set to be privatized, raising concerns among citizens. The decision to hand over these parks to contractors under the guise of the ‘Smart City’ initiative has sparked debates about the implications of such a move.

Vivek Welankar, President of Sajag Naagrik Manch, expressed his discontent with the privatization process. With over 200 parks in Pune, the decision to charge visitors for entering parks in Baner, and Balewadi seems unnecessary. These parks have already been funded by the taxpayers’ money, and citizens question why they should be subjected to additional charges. Welankar emphasized that the Smart City initiative should focus on addressing people’s needs and eliminating inconveniences, rather than becoming a profit-oriented endeavor. He firmly called for the plan to be abandoned.

It is worth noting that these parks cater to a diverse range of needs, including parks designed for senior citizens, disabled individuals, and environment-themed parks. Ironically, while senior citizens and disabled individuals receive discounts, the general public will have to pay to visit these parks now managed by private contractors.

Amol Balwadkar, Corporator of the Baner Balewadi Pashan Ward, pledged to prevent the privatization of parks. He has initiated a circular urging Chandrakant Patil, Pune’s Guardian Minister, to intervene and halt the process. Balwadkar assured citizens that there is no need to worry about extra charges for visiting parks.

As the controversy unfolds, residents await further developments and hope that their concerns regarding the privatization of Pune’s parks will be heard and addressed by the authorities. The outcome of these deliberations will determine the fate of these cherished public spaces and the accessibility of recreational areas for the citizens of Pune.

Details of 6 Parks from Baner and Balewadi which will be handed over to private contractors : 

  • Park for Senior Citizens in Baner S No 38/1
  • Fitness and Wellness Park in Baner S No 26/3
  • Environment Park in Balewadi S No 36/4
  • Reneu Park in Baner S no 135
  • Energize Park in Baner S No 140
  • Park for Differently abled in Balewadi S No 3/4 and S No 3/6

Shreyas Vange 

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