PUNE: After discussions with environmentalists and citizens, MLA Medha Kulkarni, on Sunday, finalised the plan for the proposed ‘Van Udyan’, a garden to be developed at Mhatoba, also known as ARAI hill in Kothrud.
Kulkarni and officials from the Forest Department were present at the hill on Sunday morning to inspect the land in question and take suggestions from citizens about the proposed garden. Members of Mhatoba Temple Committee too were a part of the meeting, as the temple is situated on this hill.
“I have been striving for creation of an environment-friendly grand garden on this 100 acres of forest land for quite some time,” Kulkarni said. “Along with the forest areas of Hingane survey number 17 and 18, the total amount of fund sanctioned for this project is Rs 3.5 crore. Today, we presented our plan for the garden to the citizens and discussed their opinions and demands. We received some good suggestions and are keen on utilising them well in the project,” Kulkarni said.
“We will be working towards making this place more welcoming for the birds. Presently, we hardly find any birds in this area. We will be making drinking water available for the birds here, and the indigenous plants too will certainly attract more birds to the place,” Kulkarni said.
Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Mahesh Bhavsar, Sachin Mokate, Rohidas Sutar, Shubhangi Joshi among the others were present on the occasion.
The citizens interested in taking part in this project can still visit the website www.mahaforest.com, and take membership of ‘Green Army’. One can also send his/her suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The plan to develop the garden includes taking off all the foreign plants/trees on the hill like those of Gliricidia and planting the indigenous fruit and flower-bearing plants.
- The garden would also have medicinal plants. Bio-toilets, water tanks, informational boards, rainwater harvesting tanks, police chowki for security etc., are proposed to be a part of this garden.
- The plan also includes renovation of the Mhatoba temple.