The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is planning to increase the green cover within its jurisdiction, while creating awareness about the rich cultural heritage of the country. The “sanskriti”-themed project has been launched under the union government’s Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) programme. Urban landscape designer Aseem Gokarn Harwansh, consultant for the PMC’s Green Space Project, said, “The main objective, under AMRUT, is to increase the green cover in the city… based on a certain theme to attract people and create awareness.”
“There are a lot of stories about trees and their significance in the Vedas. The idea is to put signages at the planted indigenous trees…” she added. Other civic bodies are also working on improving the green cover in their respective jurisdictions, under different themes.
Ashok Ghorpade, garden superintendent, the PMC, said, “The union government has approved the expansion of the civic project of Green Space and Park under AMRUT. The cost of the project is Rs two crore, 50 per cent of which will be paid by the union government, while the state government and the PMC will contribute 25 per cent each.”
The PMC would plant around 20,000 trees of native species in a 15-acre plot between the two canals passing through Sinhagad Road, he said. “The land belongs to the State Irrigation department and the PMC has signed an agreement to lease it for a long term. The PMC would plant trees and maintain it. The project would help prevent encroachment on the land and increase the green cover,” he added.
Ghorpade said the area was selected as it falls in the central part of the city. “The PMC wants to develop an ‘Oxygen Park’ at the location, leaving space only for a suitable surface for pedestrians,” he added. He said the union government has ordered the PMC to ensure that at least 80 per cent of the trees survive.
This is the third such proposal approved by the union government. Amol Rudrake, junior engineer in the PMC, said, “The actual work on the first proposal is 80 per cent complete, while the tender process for the second proposal has started.”