Former environment minister and Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray visited the Vetal Tekdi in Pune on Saturday and expressed his concern over the environmental impact of two major projects in the city, the Mula-Mutha River Front Development (RFD) Project and Bal Bharti Paud Phata Road, during his visit to Vetal Tekdi.
Thackeray, who was at the forefront of the citizens' movement against the state government’s decision to construct a Metro car shed in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony, joined the chorus of environmental activists who have been opposing both projects.
Visit to RFD site
During his visit, Thackeray also visited the Pune Riverfront Development project.
Thackeray, who led the citizens' movement against the state government's decision to construct a Metro car shed in Mumbai's Aarey Colony, took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the issue after his visit. In his tweet, Thackeray said, "In the name of riverfront, the corporation is hacking 7000 old trees, playing around with flood lines and more so, reclaiming almost 50 m on both sides with debris, to narrow the river, against global wisdom and practice of widening a river. This is going to lead to massive climate disruption in Pune because of such anti-people projects."
Here's what he said
He also spoke out against the Bal Bharti Paud Phata Road, stating that the Pune Municipal Corporation is trying to destroy the hills without conducting any studies on traffic or environmental impact. Thackeray added, "It seems the consultant has strong political support for personal gains, by destroying the hills."
Two major development projects in Pune have come under fire from environmental activists due to their potential impact on the natural environment. The Bal Bharti Paud Phata (BBPP) Link Road project, which will traverse the foothills of Vetal Tekdi, has been opposed by activists since its proposal in 1987. The proposed road has been criticized for its potential to destroy hills and cause environmental damage.
Meanwhile, the Mula-Mutha River Front Development (RFD) project has also faced criticism for its plan to cut down thousands of trees, including rare and old trees, along a one-kilometre stretch of the riverbank. The PMC, however, refuted the claims and said there are no old and rare trees among the trees that would be affected. "During the work of river rejuvenation, it is necessary to cut some trees, and in their place, more than 65,000 trees will be planted," it said in a press release.
Thackeray's visit comes at a crucial time, with environmental conservation gaining momentum in Pune and the upcoming civic polls likely to make it a significant talking point. His appeal to the authorities to consider the impact of these projects on the environment may shape the public discourse on environmental conservation in the city.
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