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Dukkar Khind hill under attack, allege concerned residents from Kothrud, Pune

Biodiversity park is a no development zone where no construction can take place

pune Updated: Jun 12, 2018 16:00 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,kothrud,Dukkar Khind
The newly constructed illegal road on Dukkar Khind hill, behind Mahatma Society on Friday.(RAHUL RAUT/HT PHOTO)

Residents of Mahatma society and regular trekkers are all that stand between a Pune hill - Dukkar Khind - being flattened for alleged construction and this last green vestige of Kothrud, being saved.

Despite several attempts by HT to reach the Pune municipal corporation’s (PMC) building permission officials, calls were not answered or returned.

The tangible evidence is that a road has been constructed on the Dukkar Khind hill last week, behind Mahatma society , going uphill. The road under construction also traverses the rear of the Wonder Futura building in Kothrud.

Dilip Vedepatil, corporator, who was aware of the road being constructed, said, “The moment we got information that someone was building a road on Dukkar Khind hill, we approached PMC officials with a letter of objection.”

What bothers residents most is that Dukkar Khind hill is part of the bio diversity park area in the city.

“There are markings for private plots atop the Dukkar Khind hill behind Mahatma society,” said Mahesh Vaidya, a resident of Kothrud and trekker on the hill.

Vaidya added, “We noticed construction activity taking place on Dukkar Khind hill before 2014 as well and had raised the issue with the Pune municipal corporation (PMC). PMC had duly taken action and stopped the construction. However, this time, it’s not just plotting for construction, but a road has been created.”

A resident of Mahatma society, on the condition of anonymity, said,“Dukkar Khind is part of the bio diversity park. Any construction on the hill is an open violation of the proposed 'no construction' rule for the biodiversity parks. The state government has banned any construction in these areas until a final decision on the quantum of construction to be allowed in such zones is made.”

Last year, the Maharashtra government issued a notification stating that no new construction will be allowed within 100 feet of foothills across the state. Every municipal corporation has been ordered to implement biodiversity parks as no development zone.

Biodiversity parks in the city:

Baner-Balewadi:(89.07 hectares)

Bavdhan-Kothrud: (279.82 hectares)

Warje-Shivane: (166.18 hectares)

Hingane-Wadgaon-Dhayari: (118.42 hectares)

Dhankawadi-Ambegaon: (20.05 hectares)

Katraj: (216.30 hectares)

Kondwa-Undri: (45.73 hectares)

Mohamadwadi-Hadapsar: (42.94 hectares)