Pune News : Citizens to hold Save Vetal Tekdi walk on April 15

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Pune: A peaceful march organized by nature lovers is set to take place on April 15 at Vetal Hill in Pune, with Member of Parliament Vandana Chavan of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) expressing her opposition to the project. The march is organized by Vetal Tekdi Bachav Kruti Samiti (VTBKS), a committee formed to protect the natural heritage of Pune.

The Save Vetal Tekdi walk will be held on 15 April 2023 starting at 5 pm from Vetal Baba chowk (near Ratna Hospital) on Senapati Bapat road till German Bakery.

Speaking at a press conference, MP Vandana Chavan highlighted the importance of preserving the remaining green cover in the city, stating, “Due to rapid urbanization, the only lungs that remain are these tekdis (hills). And therefore, in 2000, a BDP (Bio-Diversity Park) rule was made to save the tekdis of Pune. But now we are seeing encroachments and hills being dug for roads and tunnels by Pune Municipal Corporation. The law college road area is home to an ecosystem of peacocks, various birds, wildlife, and waterfalls.”

The committee has putforth few demands : 

1. Scrap proposed BalBharati-Paud Phata Road and two tunnels projects from the DP. 

2. Declare Vetal Tekdi as a Natural Heritage Site and a No Development No-Construction zone. 

3. Instead of spending money on roads and tunnels, PMC should strengthen public transport by increasing frequency and connectivity of PMPML bus routes during peak hours.  

Pradip Ghumare of Vetal Tekdi Bachav Kruti Samiti (VTBKS) announced that the peace march will start from Vetal Baba Chowk at around 5 pm on April 15th and will be attended by citizens of Pune, including members of various political parties. The aim of the march is to protest against the proposed roads that would pass through Vetal Hill for the Bal Bharati Paud road project.

PMC has planned 3 destructive projects on Vetal Tekdi 1. Balbharati-Paud Phata road across Law College hill slope 2. Two tunnels with exits at Panchavati, Sutardara and Gokhalenagar 3. HCMTR – elevated ring road of which 2 km is aligned on Law College hill slope  

“Vetal tekadi is our natural heritage, and these tekadis are the only remaining green cover in Pune. So it is our humble request that these tekadis should not be affected,” said Pradip Ghumare.

The Pune Municipal Corporation claims that the project aims to reduce traffic congestion. However, opposition from nature lovers and concerned citizens continues to grow, with calls to preserve the natural beauty and biodiversity of Vetal Hill.

Vetal Tekdi Bachav Kruti Samiti is an apolitical group of concerned citizens who have come together to save one of Pune’s most valuable natural resources from these destructive projects. We welcome the support of everyone who cares for Pune.

Contact: Sumita Kale 9822401936 Dr Sushma Date 9822061155 Harshad Abhyankar 9881132370.   

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