Residents of Punawale demand Oxygen Park to combat pollution

Residents of Punawale demand Oxygen Park to combat pollution

Residents of Punawale demand Oxygen Park to combat pollution

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In Punawale, a community-driven initiative called ‘Me Punawalekar’ saw locals, including women and children, planting trees to increase greenery. However, recent challenges threaten the area’s ecological balance and air quality.

The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) proposed a solid waste management project, which met with opposition from residents and was subsequently scrapped by the state government during the winter session of the Maharashtra Assembly. Meanwhile, illegal tree felling has surged, compounded by escalating construction activities nearby which has further worsened the situation.

The consequences are dire, including air quality degradation due to rampant construction dust, escalating pollution, and recurrent forest fires exacerbating the situation. Punavale’s green lung, once vibrant, now faces desiccation as trees wither from neglect. 

In response, residents fervently advocate for an oxygen park within the forest precincts. They underscore the urgent need for preservation, emphasizing the area’s unique flora, including rare tree species and two vital ponds. To counter illicit logging and safeguard the ecosystem, residents advocate for fencing the area. Soil testing recommends banyan trees as suitable for the region, offering a practical solution for reforestation efforts. The Oxygen Park not only promises to revive Punavale’s greenery but also ensures environmental equilibrium amidst growing urbanization. 

As the clamour for conservation grows, Punavale stands at a pivotal juncture, echoing global initiatives for sustainable development. Following this, efforts to rally support for Oxygen Park intensified as residents mobilized to protect their natural heritage by planting more trees and promoting greenery. 
Sumit Dhage, a resident of Punawale said that the forest area around usis at a walkable distance. With rapid development the green cover of the area is fast depleting. We want to breathe fresh air and would love to see greenery around. Hence, we took this initiative to plant trees. We want more people to join our movement. 

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