PMC: Protecting biodiversity park land needs active public participation

Jagtap said the foremost thing would be to define the boundary of the BDP area and constructing a fence for easy identification in case of encroachment

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is planning a roadmap to protect large areas of BDP reservation, after acquiring it for keeping it green, with public participation. The PMC is awaiting a state government communication on biodiversity park (BDP) reservation on city hills in 23 merged villages.

"It is going to be a tough task to protect the land being reserved under BDP but it could be done through various initiatives," said additional municipal commissioner Rajendra Jagtap.

He said the foremost thing would be to define the boundary of the BDP area and constructing a fence for easy identification in case of encroachment.

"The area to be protected is huge and a roadmap will be required," Jagtap said adding active participation from the public and vigilance of citizens would be neccessary to achieve the objective.

The PMC will also have to explore the possibility of extending a joint initiative with the forest department for protecting the BDP area in the merged villages, he said adding the civic body will have to take up tree plantation and would also require private participation to ensure protection of the BDP area.

Jagtap said, a survey to identify if the BDP land is encroached upon will be undertaken. Once the survey is done, action will be initiated if anything illegal is noticed.

"The state government decision of retaining BDP would go a long way in the interest of the city. This will always be a strength of the city," said city engineer Prashant Waghmare.

Though the area of BDP is too large, he said it could be maintained and kept away from encroachment through planning. "It is now clear that development cannot be carried out in the BDP reserved land. Also, the acquisition can get a push if the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) returns to the land owner," he said.

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