Pune: Three-member committee to survey illegal constructions, destruction of biodiversity on hills near Pavana dam

Sakal Times News Desk
Friday, 7 August 2020

Three-member committee to survey illegal constructions, destruction of biodiversity on hills near Pavana dam

Pune: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed to appoint of a joint member committee which comprises of the Pune District Collector, Divisional Forest department and The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to probe into the illegal, anti-environmental constructions and encroachments that have destroyed the alleged biodiversity on hilltops and hill slopes near villages in the Pavana Dam area.

Stating that the committee should submit the survey report to the NGT within four weeks times, NGT Justice Sheo Kumar Singh and Justice Siddhanta Das also clarified in the order that it would be the responsibility of the Pollution Control Board to comply with the order.

The former MLA and Minister of Maval taluka Sanjay Bhegade, Sachin Mohite and others have filed a petition in July 2018 through Advocate Asim Sarode. The Maharashtra Environment and Forests Department, Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA), The Maharashtra State Biodiversity Department and 67 other private bungalow holders have been named as defendants in the petition.

Former MLA of Maval Assembly constituency Sanjay alias Bala Bhegade has alleged in the petition that the destruction of hills and forests and the green belt in Maval taluka of Pune district is endangering the biodiversity is due to a lot of illegal leveling of hills and slopes around the Pavana dam.”

 The petition further mentioned, “The area around Pavana Dam is covered with biodiversity and hills. In the year 2000, under the Maharashtra Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change. A committee was set up under the chairmanship of Dr Pranab Sen has declared the area an eco-sensitive zone. The Maval region is rich in biodiversity but now the richness of nature has been decimated, rich and influential people are destroying the environment by illegally building construction on the hills under the name of a second home or farmhouse.”

Petitioner Bhegade speaking to Sakal Times has confirmed the news and said, “Due to this encroachment, the destruction of the environment in the Pawannagar dam area has become a serious problem.”

Talking to Sakal Times, Adv Asim Sarode said “The massive deforestation on the hill, the concrete construction and the artificial table-land created a threat to the environment in the Pawana Nagar area. The petition also alleges that illegal construction is altering the natural flow of water, creating a risk of landslides, affecting plants, animals and birds, as well as mixing sewage with water, endangering large-scale biodiversity.”

The next hearing, in this case, will be held on October 2.

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