On the 3rd of February, a site visit at Sadhu Vaswani Bridge in Koregaon Park saw Pune citizens, accompanied by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) officials.
The PMC announced plans to cut 61 trees deemed as obstructions in the reconstruction of the Sadhu Vaswani Bridge. However, citizens are contesting the move, asserting that Banyan trees, not mentioned in the official docket, are also slated for removal.
Ameet Singh, Core Member of Pune River Revival, expressed concern, stating, “Initially, PMC had approval for the bridge reconstruction, but now there are plans to cut significant Banyan trees near the bridge’s end in phase 2. This was not disclosed during the January 2024 hearing at Dhole Patil Road ward office, where PMC assured that old Banyan trees would be preserved. This contradiction has prompted a meeting with PMC project department chief Srinivas Bonala on Monday (5th February) to decide our next course of action.”
Chalo PMC’s Instagram account highlighted the discrepancy, stating, “During the site visit with PMC project department and citizens at Sadhu Vaswani Bridge, all trees not mentioned in the docket are set to be felled or transplanted, contradicting PMC’s earlier assurance that these trees would remain untouched. This inconsistency has led to a trust deficit.”
Guruswami Tumhale, PMC Garden Department Official, clarified, “There are a total of 161 trees near Sadhu Vaswani Bridge. In the process, 61 trees, including some on the bridge’s divider, will be cut, with 52 of them slated for replantation.”