The once calm pensioners city is now bursting at its seams with skyscrapers, towers and minarets that reek development. Pune has unfortunately morphed from the picturesque ‘tekri’ and hill top city to what it is today. 

Pune is now a classic example of how a green city can lose its lungs to what we call urbanisation and rapid development. From oxygen depletion to inclement weather, this city has it all now!

We spoke to active citizens who shared their views and concerns on the depleting green cover of the city:

According to the Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Protection & Preservation Of Trees Act 1975, carrying out a census of existing trees in all lands within the jurisdiction of a civic body is mandatory once every five years.

“This year, Pune is witnessing its worst summer and this, in a city that had such a huge green cover” points Siddhart Mankar, a biker and hiking enthusiast.

The civic authorities are busy creating this concrete jungle, to make the city smart and urbanised. For the sake of development, we are losing on all that was done by our forefathers. Today, we are planting trees at places where they make no sense. Development is needed, but at what cost and this is what needs introspection.

To make it worse, we as citizens aren’t doing enough to at least save what is left.” It has to be a joint effort with both citizens and the local authorities working together on keeping Pune green and comfortable. 

Huge green expanses in and around the city are being turned into housing societies and residential complexes. We all want to have a balcony with a view of the hills and the greenery, but how can all this be made possible ?

Farmers and land owners are selling their land to builders for ample amounts of money and builders end up getting all the permissions too. All they do in the name of having a green spot is build an artificial park, or plant trees that fall eventually.

Some housing societies have made cctv cameras mandatory for security reasons. Similarly, they can insist on having multiple plants on terraces, or in the compound for environmental reasons” quips Manisha Pandit, a resident of Undri.

Shreshtha Manik, a wellness and heath enthusiast, says that even the green lungs of our city are losing its charm.

“I have seen the city lose its essence over the years. It is now bustling, but its green lungs are being destroyed by the haphazard construction activity..

We cannot compare the state of the city to what it was and development is certainly important. Yet, this cannot be at the cost of affecting the environment. I believe in the healing power of nature.

What one achieves in ten days sweating on a treadmill in an closed area, an hour of walk amidst the green can better!

Now we have to hunt for places to hike and walk, unlike earlier, when very other lane was as green as the hill tops. Such indifference will only see us be left with barren land or artificially created green spots,” she adds.

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#All views expressed in this column are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.

Loveleen Kaur

Loveleen Kaur

She loves travelling, dogs, sarcasm, humour and anything that spells F O O D, in that order. A writer on a journey to make positive stories a morning ritual and give society what it needs the most - optimism !!

Reach her at loveleen@pune365.com or tweet @KaurKaur18
Loveleen Kaur

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