Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has woken up to a citizen’s complaint of the once-lush green hill behind Mahatma Housing Society in Kothrud being used as a dumping ground for debris by private builders. While the PMC has found that some part of the hill belongs to them, the rest comes under the Forest Department. However, the Forest Department is clueless about this.
On Sunday, Sakal Times reported the issue of the hill being turned into a dumping ground, an issue raised by Mahesh Panhale, a resident of a nearby society when he posted about this on Facebook.
Last week, officials of Building Permission Department of PMC told Sakal Times that they are unaware of the area comes under PMC or Forest department or if its a private land.
A spot visit on Monday by Madhav Bobade, Junior Engineer of PMC Building Permission Department revealed its status.
Bobade said, “The hill is divided into three sections consisting of Warje, Kothrud old limits and Kothrud new limits. Some part of the hill belongs to PMC and the rest which is towards Warje side belong to Forest Department. The debris and construction material has been dumped in both the limits.”
However, A Shreelakshmi, Deputy Conservator of Forests, said she had no clue about any such activity. She said, “We have a huge area under the Forest Department and we cannot keep eye on each and every area.”
She added, “To avoid encroachment we have built 35 km walls in all forest reserve areas within PMC limits in three years. If such is the case with the hill of Kothrud, we will take a close look and solve it as soon as possible.”
PMC to set up check post
Madhav Bobade, Junior Engineer of PMC Building Permission Department said they are going to set up a check post to stop trucks of debris from going uphill and fine will be collected from them if found guilty. “We will also clean up all the debris dumped on the hill. We are also going to write to the Forest Department about the same,” he said.