Of the total amount, Rs 5.25 crore will be sanctioned each year for the next five years to protect the urban forest in Warje.
The Pune Municipal Corporation has decided to provide funds worth Rs 26.25 crore to protect the fast-depleting green cover of the city.
Of the total amount, Rs 5.25 crore will be sanctioned each year for the next five years to protect the urban forest in Warje through various steps that will be taken up by the Joint Forest Management Committee.
The Union government in 1988 launched an initiative to protect the forest through a joint management committee of officers from the forest department, local civic body and villages. On the lines of the initiative taken by the Union government, the same was taken for protecting the urban forest in the city in 2006 through forming a joint forest management committee of officers from the forest department, PMC and citizens.
“PMC has allocated Rs 10.23 crore for the initiative between 2006 and 2011. Rs 9.61 crore of the funds were used for developmental work. Thereafter, it allocated Rs 4.8 crore for the conservation and protection of forests but Rs 2.31 crore of the allocated fund were spent on developmental work,” Hemant Rasane, chairperson of the standing committee, said
He added, “The PMC has now increased the allocation to Rs 26.25 crore for the next five years for protection and conservation of forest in Warje range.”
There is around 1,826 acres of forest land in the city. In the first phase, protection and conservation work was started on 988 acres of forest land, including 613 acres of Pachgaon-Parvati, 250 acres of Bhamburda forest range and 125 acres of Warje.
The second phase included work in the forest areas of Pachgaon-Parvati, Bhamburda, Warje along with Kothrud and Dhanori. “The funds are spent on construction of boundary wall, planting trees, construction of barrages and providing security personnel to keep a check on illegal activities,” he said, adding that the allocation of more funds would give a major boost to efforts for protecting the urban forests in the city.
PMC garden superintendent Ashok Ghorpade said the civic standing committee has approved funding for protecting the forest area in Warje by constructing a boundary wall and developing a forest Park for citizens convenience for physical exercise. “The funds have been approved but will be given based on the financial situation of the civic body in the next five years,” he added.
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