Pune News : Environmentalists raise alarm against illegal digging of hills in Pune’s BDP zone 

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Kothrud: Nature lovers in Pune are raising concerns over the illegal digging of hills in the city’s Bio-Diversity Park (BDP) zone by private agencies and encroachers. Recently, a hill in Jijai Nagar that falls under the BDP zone was dug up, prompting activists to complain to Pune Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar. However, action was taken only after a month.

Shailesh Dhodapkar, Save Pune Hills, said, “From last few days this hill is being dug up which comes under BDP. Therefore, we had complained about this to Pune Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar, whereas the action on this was taken after a month. Currently, all the work going on illegally has been stopped, but this may start in future.

He added, “Using Poclain machines and JCBs the hill was being dug, currently 300 feet of the hill has been dug up. Such incidents are now happening at many places which are affecting nature and the ecosystem as well. Instead there is a need to plant trees to make the hills green.”

Mandar Garud, a resident of Bavdhan, also complained, “A tekdi in Jijai Nagar was being encroached upon, even after the commissioner’s order to stop the illegal activity. The complaints were made with Pune Municipal Commissioner and accordingly he had ordered it to stop. Even after the commissioner’s order, the work of breaking the hill continued.”

The illegal activities in the BDP have prompted citizens to write to the PMC to complain about the massive hill breaking and construction in the premises of BDP. In their letter, citizens state that “According to the law, one cannot build on a hill slope. Unauthorized activities are going on in full swing here, violating all the rules. Indiscriminate destruction of nature is going on. This will alter the natural flow of water during monsoons and there is a possibility of landslides.”

The letter goes on to request that the BDP on the site be maintained and no construction of any kind be allowed there, otherwise the hill will be completely destroyed. The citizens have also requested that the hill be planted with trees in the future to help maintain the balance of nature and the environment and beauty of the city.

Mrunal Jadhav 

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