Six months on, saving Bio Diversity Park areas in Pune remains a dream

It has six months since the state government decided to preserve the Bio Diversity Park (BDP) in Pune but there has been no progress made in this issue so far. The Pune Municipal Corporation has no acquired any land, so far.

To prevent construction activity on hills falling under the BDP area in 23 merged villages, Maharashtra Government on August 18, 2018 decided to protect them by giving eight per cent transfer of development rights (TDR) as compensation to land owners for acquiring 773 hectares of land falling under the biodiversity park area. TDR allows original owner of the land to use the rights at another designated location.

However, no land owner has come forward to accept the compensation package. The civic administration has also accepted that it has not been able to acquire the land for the purpose.

Both Prashant Waghmare, city engineer, PMC and Yuvraj Deshmukh, executing engineer, PMC accepted that inspite of the decision regarding compensation being approved by the chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, the civic body has not been able to acquire even a single acre of land under the scheme.

“There has been no progress in land acquision so far. No land owner has submitted proposal to hand over their land,” said Waghmare.

Nationalist Congress Party leader and corporator Sachin Dodke who owns a land in Warje area which falls under BDP reservation, said, “As land owners are not coming forward to hand over the land even after six months, it is proved that the state government’s decision is not practical. The government’s decision will lead to slums on these reserved lands. State should allow 8 per cent construction on the land and force owners to maintain greenery instead of giving compensation.”

The concept of the Bio Diversity Park (BDP) concept is unique to India and was introduced in the Pune city under which PMC had made the reservation on the hills in surrounding areas and not allowed construction on it. Most of the lands on the hills are owned by private people and they are demanding the civic body to allow construction on it.

First Published: Feb 14, 2019 14:23 IST

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