In way of metro, PMC faces legal threat for trees

Devendra Fadnavis, chief minister, gave a final verdict in the conflict between the Shivsrushti and Pune Metro projects. The conflict was related to land at the Kothrud garbage depot. On February 6, as per Fadnavis’ decision, the heritage park has been shifted to the biodiversity park zone at Chandani Chowk. Hence, the work for public transport initiative is all set to start.  On one hand, this plan has been welcomed by most political parties. On the other, a citybased group of nature lovers has objected it largely.

On February 7, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) were  warned by members of the Nisargsevak group. According to Pune Mirror, the members said that they will initiate legal action if 1,000 fully grown trees are cut down. These trees were planted in the memory of their loved ones over five acres of depot land- ‘Smruti Udyan’.

In 2002, as per an agreement, Nisargsevak group was given this tranche of 28-acre Kothrud garbage dumping area by PMC for afforestation purposes. The property was given to the activists to plant trees on a 10-year lease under ‘Smruti Udyan’. As per the agreement, after 10 years, all the trees would be handed over to the PMC.

Medha Joshi, secretary, Nisargsevak told Pune Mirror, “There are so many sentiments attached to these trees, as they hold memories of loved ones for many. Hacking them for the proposed Pune Metro goes against this. Our legal agreement also does not allow their destruction.”

Brijesh Dixit, managing director, Maha Metro said, “We are aware of this agreement and the emotions of citizens attached to the trees at the depot. We are considering a plan under which not a single tree will be hacked. They will be replanted carefully, keeping the name and memory of the loved ones intact. While executing this procedure, we would also invite the planters of these trees to supervise the re-plantation.”