Human chain protest held to save Ram Nadi

Pune Municipal Corporation says that the plant that is being built is not a garbage processing plant

Jigar Hindocha

Pune: Residents, environmentalists, non-government organisations and local leaders came together and formed a human chain to protest against the waste management project at Ram Nadi river bank on Sunday.

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Pune Municipal Corporation has restarted the work on the project which was initially put off in 2018 after protests by environmentalists.

On Sunday May 8, the premises of the proposed Bavdhan garbage depot was surrounded by hundreds of residents, activists, environmental experts and local leaders, with slogans which read ‘Remove Bawadhan Garbage Depot, Save Ram River’, ‘Cancel Garbage Depot’.

Nikita Sanas, the sarpanch of Bhugaon, said, “The work on the garbage collection centre in survey no. 64 began on March 10. Unfortunately, the waste project work has resumed despite the protests.”

Virendra Chitrav of the Ram Nadi Restoration Mission said, “The location of the proposed waste transit centre is adjacent to the Ram Nadi which will increase pollution. Such a project will cause immense damage to the Ram river and also the residents. It will also contaminate the local underground water resources.”

According to PMC, the plant that is being built is not a garbage processing plant but a modern transfer station for garbage, a closed capsule system and that Metro has begun the work as part of the land transfer deal in lieu of the Kothrud garbage depot.

A delegation of local residents led by state BJP chief and legislator Chandrakant Patil and former mayor Murlidhar Mohol submitted a memorandum to Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar opposing the solid waste management project in Bavdhan.

“A committee will be set up to review the project and issues raised by local residents, environmentalists and elected representatives will be taken into consideration. The PMC is not going to set up a processing plant but we shall set up a segregation and transportation centre for garbage collected from the city. There will not be any dumping of garbage. The Ramnadi will be developed in the same way we are planning the development of Mula-Mutha river,” said Vikram Kumar, Pune Municipal Corporation civic chief.

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