The Urban Development Department has taken the decision of converting the ‘hill slope zone’ to ‘public/semipublic zone’ in the meeting. But according to the opposition, this land comes under the ‘Merged village’ plan and should not be allotted to the construction of any such industries.
Shyam Deshpande, Shiv Sena Leader, says, “The board didn’t consult the citizens before taking such decisions. They are converting the hill slope which comes at the boundary of merged village plan”. The land which is being allotted for the expansion is normally used by the citizen for morning/evening and is an important part in their daily activities. It helps keep the environment clean too.
The main concern is to save the ecological balance. He adds, “When this construction is allowed, the ecological balance of that Kothrud and Pune will get affected. That’s the main concern for our opposition”. The city is facing many problems when it comes to environment. With the rapid growth, many trees and natural habitat are being affected. In this situation, when the construction on any such natural site is allowed, they fear the ecological balance, that is facing difficult to adjust now, will be deteriorate at the faster rate creating more problem for the citizen and city.
Once, the board has allowed construction on such area, other small companies will ask for it and this would lose the charm. “There are chances that small companies, who want to expand and are, looking for place, will ask for place in such hill slops. Then, we might lose the available natural habitat that exists now”, explains Shyam.
“We are opposing the site given, it doesn’t mean we oppose the development”, explains Shyam. “We believe in developments that are for the benefit of the citizen not against their comfort. Development is needed if we want to grow. This kind of actions reflects growth not development”, adds he. The suggestions that they put up in front of the board is to provide flat land that are not used. The lands that are just kept and are under Municipal Corporation instead of allowing it in hill slope. “What the board has done is not acceptable at all. They are taking away what belongs to the people over there”, adds he.
Kothrud is being surrounded by hills from every side. Already, there are many constructions that are going on at hill slops. Corporation should stop that instead of allowing one. The citizens of Kothrud have signed an opposition letter. “We asked citizens to come forward and sing the opposition letter which will go the CM. We have received 3994 oppositions, which itself is a great number. This shows, that the people living in that area are more concerned about the environment that the people sitting at board”, adds Shyam.
The decision is yet to be sanctioned by the CM of Maharashtra. On this Shyam says, “We requested board not to allot that land but they didn’t listened. Our CM is concerned about the citizens and environment. We have sent him the opposition letter signed by the people and hope, before signing the final document of ARAI Land Approval, he will consider our request”. If, by any chance, CM signs the document on ARAI Land Approval, Shyam is planning to go to court. “We are for the people. We need to work for the safeguard of people. When residents of that are opposing the construction, then how can one allow and approve it”, adds Shyam.
We tried to contact ARAI on what they have to say about the whole issue. We were told that the Director is out of station and we can communicate through mail. We sent the mail but still waiting for their reply.