Preserve Our Trees, Sustain Our Health and Future
Chief Conservator of Forests, Shri. Praveen N.R.
Municipal Commissioner, Pune Municipal Corporation Shri Vikram Kumar (President Tree Authority)
Authorities must invoke the full enforcement of the Maharashtra Protection and Preservation of Trees Act and adhere to the due process outlined in the act.
Authorities must establish a tree-felling helpline for citizens to report unlawful and unregulated tree-felling across Pune city.
Authorities must adhere to the High Court order on 21st December ‘23
Pune faces an impending loss of 100,000 trees, a stark reality driven by the relentless felling of 27,000 trees over the last few years by both public and private entities. Recent actions by the Pune Municipal Corporation have further exacerbated the situation, as thousands of trees along the Mula Mutha River succumb to the River Front Development project, compromising vital riparian forests crucial for water purification and biodiversity.
The push for an 8-lane, 30-meter road from Manjari to Shivajinagar has catalysed the destruction of 10,000 old-growth trees at the Bundgarden Joggers Park, prompting questions about the actual beneficiaries of development.
Citizens have rallied to protect 393 old-growth trees along Ganeshkhind Road against the looming threat of felling, advocating for alternative solutions to safeguard these invaluable assets.
Recent legal interventions, notably the High Court's stay order on tree cutting in Pune and mandates for a comprehensive tree census, along with setting up an expert committee to deliberate saving the trees while also executing the road widening and metro work, underscore the urgency to reevaluate current practices. Despite these measures, 132 towering banyan trees in Koregaon Park face imminent risk, and 3,500 old-growth trees across 15 arterial roads confront the spectre of road widening projects.
Trees are not just an integral part of our ecosystem; they are life-givers. Their significance extends beyond aesthetics, as they purify our air, offer shade, combat pollution, and sustain a rich tapestry of wildlife.
Pune faces a crisis: worsening air pollution, increased urban heat, and unmanageable congestion due to a lack of good public transport. Cutting trees worsens these issues. While development is essential, we stand committed in our conviction that such advancement should not come at the cost of our environment. Our government authorities should explore alternatives for harmonious coexistence, including well-designed roads that retain and enhance tree cover and world-class public transport. Authorities must promote eco-friendly building practices and integrate trees into architectural designs. Our city's livability and health depend on innovative, sustainable solutions.