Pune: The key demand of environmentalists and organisations working for the environment is ‘declaring climate crisis’. The residents and several city NGOs came together to chart an environmental manifesto, which has been submitted to all poll candidates.
“We hereby oppose policies pertaining to economic activities that stifle our rivers, hills, forests, essential natural resources of life and common elements like soil, water, energy, air, a clean environment, health and nutrition,” stated the manifesto, asking political leaders to make policies which revolve around the climate crisis. The demands range from protection of trees and water resources to urban garbage segregation and promotion of public transport.
Vasundhara Swacchata Abhiyan, Mission Groundwater, Vasundhara Abhiyan in Baner, Jaldevta Seva Abhiyan, Sagar Mitra, Jeevitnadi, Deccan Gymkhana Parisar Samiti, Area Sabha Association of Pune, Save Pune Traffic Movement, Parisar Pune, Climate Healers and environmentalists Sarang Yadwadkar, Adv Aniruddha Kulkarni and Anita Benninger have formed the manifesto. The manifesto mentions that switching to a village-centric approach will save money, nature and the State.
Demands mentioned in the manifesto
- Permission should not be given for cutting trees till citizen-tree ratio is 1:7 (as city is suffering from pollution and health issues because of massive loss of green zones).
- All regional development plans must evolve around premise of aquifer-based zones of recharge and discharge, floodplains, and factoring in scientific forecast of extreme weather events.
Demands of citizens
- The government must urgently invest in need-based, decentralised, multiple small-scale STPs.
- Traffic management solutions must incorporate public transport system. Bicycle corridors coupled with public transport will bring down need to build concrete flyovers and protect the green cover.
- Responsibility to segregate waste at user level must be aggressively pushed. Every housing society or citizen should be accountable for segregating wet waste, dry waste and further into e-waste and recyclables.
Demands of Climate Reality project
- The Climate Reality Project, Pune, has drafted a climate manifesto for the city which has demanded clean air, safe drinking water and improved public transport.
- The association has asked political parties to look into issues of declining tree cover and depleting groundwater table. Other demands include unpolluted surface water bodies without encroachments, awareness campaign about rising global warming and giving preference to eco-friendly construction for infrastructure.