During the Australia vs Bangladesh cricket match held at MCA Cricket Stadium today, a protest was staged against the proposed Punawale Garbage Depot for Solid Waste Management. Despite the attention drawn to the protest, Australia emerged as the winners, defeating Bangladesh by 8 wickets with 32 balls remaining. Notably, Punawale resident Atul Kate was the one who led the protest.
The decision of the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation to build a solid waste management project near the residential area of Punawale has caused worry among the residents. Punawale, a rapidly urbanizing locality with over 100,000 inhabitants, has become popular due to its natural environment and its close proximity to the Hinjawadi IT Park. However, the proposed waste management project, which will be located only 200 to 400 meters away from residential societies, has sparked considerable concerns.
The project was initially approved in 2008, at a time when the surrounding area was less developed. However, with the subsequent establishment of housing projects, educational institutions, and hospitals, there is now a growing fear that the project’s impact will be severe. Residents are particularly concerned about the potential environmental consequences and the potential loss of the area’s natural beauty, especially considering its close proximity to a forest. Moreover, worries about water pollution and its potential impact on nearby irrigation systems further strengthen the opposition against the project.
On November 5th, Punawale Residents Group and Pimpri Chinchwad Cooperative Housing Society Federation collaborated to organize a bike rally and chipko movement in Punawale. The protest received support not only from Punawale residents but also from neighboring regions like Hinjawadi, Wakad, Ravet, and more.
During the Australia vs Bangladesh cricket match, protester Kate utilized the high visibility of the stadium to display banners conveying messages such as “Cutting Punawale trees will harm the environment. What is the benefit of planting trees in Chandrapur for the people of Pimpri-Chinchwad city?” and “Reject the garbage depot.”