To make the proposed oxygen park a reality,the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC),with the help of Forest Development Corporation,has decided to go ahead with tree plantation on Taljai Hill in Parvati.
The park,spread over 109 acres on the hills,was proposed in 2002 with an eye on maintaining the green cover of the city. According to PMC officials,it is the only proposal where the hill top/hill slope has been acquired by the civic body to plant trees.
However,with some of the owners approaching the Supreme Court,alleging irregularities in acquisition,the PMC will start planting in those areas which do not face litigation.
Now,100 acres have been acquired by the PMC,officials said,adding that the civic body has approached the Supreme Court regarding possession of the remaining land. The hearing is scheduled in February.
It is an effort to show that there is a need to protect the green cover on the hills. The effort has been appreciated by all those who come for their morning walks here, said Corporator Subhash Jagtap who was among the key persons to get the proposal approved.
The corporation has approached the forest department to plant trees. The PMC constructed a 10-ft compound wall,running into 5 km to protect the park from encroachments and theft of wood at a cost of Rs 5 crore. There were 202 plots and the PMC completed the land acquisition process in 2005 after taking all the permissions. In 2006,the award was distributed to beneficiaries while a few of them resisted taking the amount and approached the court,stating irregularities in acquisition. The PMC had allocated Rs 27 crore for the owners. Six of the beneficiaries did not accept the amount and have approached the court, said Jagtap.
NCP city chief Vandana Chavan said the hills are green because of this initiative,reiterating her stand on not allowing construction on the hills.
PMC officials said the forest department has been roped in as they had the requisite expertise in planting and raising trees.
The oxygen park is coming up on a barren patch of land on the Taljai Hill with an aim to creating a healthy environment. The project is scheduled to come up at a cost of Rs 2 crore. According to the proposal,the oxygen will come from over five lakh indigenous trees and other species that are slowly becoming extinct. The space will have a dense tree cover.