The Joint Forest Management (JFM) committee,which began as a collaboration between the Pune Municipal Corporation and the Forest Department in 2007 to save the citys surrounding hills,on Tuesday inaugurated a water tank to provide water to the newlyplanted trees at Vetaal Tekdi,off SNDT Road.
The committees board of advisers,including non-profit organisations working on issues of environment,botanists,ornithologists and local corporators,were present on the occasion.
The 100-acre restoration project began with the plantation of fruit bearing trees and nectar based plants. The trees are home to many migratory birds, said corporator Nilesh Nikam,who has been involved with the project since its inception. Checkdams,protection walls,loose boulder structures to provide enough water to plants and forest guards have been appointed for the same.
A restoration project of the quarry located in the middle of the hill has also begun. Migratory birds including spotbill duck,vectors and ultramarine flycatchers are spotted frequently. Separate perches are built to let them rest and lay eggs, said Ketki Ghate,member of the Tree Authority of Pune. A part of the quarry is being converted into an amphitheatre for performing arts,birdwatching sessions and evening gatherings. As many as Rs 3.15 crore has been spent on the project so far. The tekdi has now become a treat for birdwatchers and nature lovers, said Anuj Khare,JFM committee member.
Security guards have been deployed on three parts of the hill to ensure environment-friendly visits to Vetaal Tekdi.