Pune : In a week, the forest dept is expected to approve Lonavala skywalk plan

Pune Pulse

PMRDA to soon construct glass skywalk at Tiger and Lions Point in Lonavala

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The PMRDA’s proposal to clear 20.9 hectares of forest land for its ambitious skywalk project between Tiger and Lion points in Lonavala is expected to be approved by the forest department in less than a week.

18.8 hectares of the requested land would come from the village of Kuravande, and 2.1 would come from the Maval taluka. 

There are no rare or endangered plant or animal species on the land that the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) has requested, according to officials. The region is hard and rocky, preventing erosion, according to officials, and it is not enclosed by any animal corridors or wildlife sanctuaries.

A screening committee of the Nagpur forest department gave its approval to the proposal. The Maharashtra eco-tourism development, which is also under the jurisdiction of the forest department, approved the project in January in lieu of the Center’s approval.

The screening committee has received recommendations from the Pune Forest Division, and it will consider them before forwarding the proposal to the Center for final approval. The 125-meter-long and 6-meter-wide bridge will be set up through the state government.

The state government has approved a budget of Rs 333.5 crore for the project, according to a forest department official. Within a year, if everything goes according to plan, the project will be carried out.

Due to the project’s estimated 200 trees could be cut, the PMRDA will take part in compensatory afforestation in Kondivare village’s surveys 62 and 63 and Sudhavadi village’s survey 253.

The Pune Forest Division has recommended widening the approach road to 15 meters in order to accommodate foot traffic from tourists and an 11-meter overpass. Along with other amenities, it suggested parking, restrooms, pavilions, an amphitheater, and a food park at the two locations.

The 10-year working plan of the forest department includes the Lion and Tiger points, which receive 9 lakh visitors annually and earn Rs 40 lakh in revenue. According to officials, they also provide 4,000 man-days of employment annually.

With 20 lakh tourists annually, the division hopes to bring in Rs 30 crore in revenue. Once approvals are granted, job opportunities will rise to 30,000 man-days annually.