Our appeal to PMC on Natural Heritage Sites:
MD /CEO Smart City Project, Pune
In response to the Public Notice calling for suggestions/objections to the Heritage List drawn up by PMC as per approved D.C.P.R 2017 Clause No.39.2, we would like to submit the following for your attention. According to the notice, the list is to include ” natural features of environmental significance, including sacred graves, hills, hillocks, water bodies etc”
Please note, there is already an earlier list of natural heritage sites identified, in the Maharashtra Government notice dated 27th September 2000. In a letter MCO/91 dated 25th April 2002, the Pune Municipal Commissioner had deemed this draft list to be followed till the final was approved. This draft list has 46 sites listed under Natural Heritage sites. We would like to know why this list has not been included in the current list of natural heritage sites? The current list of natural heritage sites does not cover the majority of the natural heritage sites, that make up the character and pride of our Pune city. The case of Vetal Tekdi and Law College hill in particular stands out.
Please note that “Hill environment and bio-diversity” is one of the 10 attributes in the Strategic Environment Assessment Report during the Revision of the DP Plan Sanctioned in 1987, as per the MR & TP Act, 1966, Section 38. The SEA states that, “Pune is surrounded by many hills from almost all sides like Katraj Hill, Pachgaon Parvati, Ramtekdi, Gultekdi, Range Hills, Chatushringi Hill, Vetal Tekdi etc. To restore the ecology and enrich the green cover on these hills regeneration, forestation for biodiversity and protection of these hills is necessary“. The objective has been set as “Regenerated, forested for biodiversity and protected hill environment”. Accordingly, the report sets the problem as “Being a mainly urban borough, extended areas of high biodiversity are limited in Pune” and opportunities identified include mapping and conserving heritage trees/ rare trees as well as ‘hot-specks’ of biodiversity and identifying and mapping wetlands and grasslands.
In line with these objectives already set before the PMC, kindly ensure that the list of natural heritage sites includes ALL sites that had been identified in 2000. We are attaching the draft list, the Municipal Commissioner’s letter from 2002, relevant pages from the DP and photo evidence of the biodiversity on Vetal Tekdi and Law College Hill – that should be protected and preserved for future generations of Punekars.