Pune: Taking serious cognisance of encroachments on hilltop and hill-slopes in Pavana Nagar area of Maval taluka, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) Bench at Pune, Justice SP Wangdi and Nagin Nanda issued notices to Department of Environment, Ministry of Revenue and Forest, Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) and Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board and have also directed to add 53 individual respondents allegedly involved in illegal construction in the eco-fragile area of Pavana Nagar.
A petition in this regard was filed by Lonavla MLA Sanjay alias Bala
While addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Advocate Asim Sarode representing Bhegade said that earlier PMRDA had issued notices against 53 individuals for illegal construction in this eco-sensitive area and so the NGT directed us to include the 53 persons as respondents in our application. Bhegade said that the area near Pavana backwaters is declared as ‘eco-sensitive zone’ by the committee formed by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
“Earlier Maval taluka was the area of massive forest and green cover. It continues to have rich bio-diversity. However, recently many influential and economically strong people constructed their houses on the hill-tops and hill-slopes which is impacting the biodiversity of the area. The area includes bungalows and villas of diamond merchants, cricketers, Bollywood personalities and some industrialist. The illegal construction is going on for 20 years, but as PMRDA was formed recently they should look into the issue and take proper action,” said Bhegade.
Advocate Asim Sarode said that due to illegal constructions in the area there is a risk of landslides, loss of habitat for flora and fauna and loss of biodiversity.
“It is indeed positive that locals are coming forward and filling such applications to preserve the biodiversity of the area,” added Sarode.