Maharashtra environment minister Aaditya Thackeray bats for ‘Pune Pattern’ for state to counter climate change
Batting for the way Pune has worked to ban single-use plastic and reduce its carbon footprint, Aaditya Thackeray, the minister of environment and tourism in Maharashtra, on Wednesday, has asked stakeholders to replicate the “Pune Pattern” across the state to counter climate change.
Praising the city’s fight for a cleaner environment, Thackeray added, “I will try to implement the ‘Pune Pattern’ in Mumbai too.”
“Cities in Maharashtra need to set up mechanisms and technology to fight pollution and garbage efficiently. Solid waste management is very important. In 2017, Mumbai produced 10,000 metric tonnes of unsegregated waste every day, but we went and told all ‘bulk generators of waste’ like hotels and other establishments, that they would have to dispose their own trash, if it is not segregated. That worked and the number came down to 6,500 metric tonnes in just a year. Pune has the potential to do that and it can achieve its aims of becoming carbon neutral by 2025,” Thackeray said.
“We can’t extend our plans till 2030, but we have to set a date for future discussion and have reviews and meetings every month to achieve our ecological goals. At present, we have been promising to set up wifi-hotspots in the city, but in the future, we’ll have to promise setting up oxygen hotspots. We need to develop better education, health and waste management systems and make use of renewable energy rather than concretising the city,” Thackeray added.
Thackeray was in the city to release the Climate Collective Pune, a policy road map by the Pune International Centre for making the Pune metropolitan region (PMR) carbon neutral by 2030. The launch of the road map was organised by the Pune International Centre (PIC) at Finolex Board Room, MCCIA, Senapati Bapat road.
Dr Raghunath Mashelkar, president, PIC, said, “Our aim to become carbon neutral by 2030 is not difficult. Pune has the capability to achieve it and convert ideas into action. The role of the government and today’s youth is crucial as it their future we are talking about.”
However, Thackeray added that by making children clean beaches and streets in the name of cleanliness campaign is like imposing a penalty on them. “We litter and dirty the environment and punish our children by asking them clean to it. We have to take the responsibility and have to act now, as we have been ignoring our environment since a long time,” added the state environment minister.
On public transport, Thackeray reiterated that facilities like the metro and BRTS are essential to free any city of traffic congestion. He said that a decision about the river development project in Pune will be taken after discussions with deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.
Dignitaries, including Dr Raghunath Mashelkar, president, PIC; Dr Vijay Kelkar, vice-president, PIC; Prashant Girbane, hon. director, PIC; Dr Amitav Malik; Vikram Kumar, commissioner, PMRDA; Dr Nitant Mate, director, SeeGreen Solutions LLP; Dr Priyadarshini Karve, CEO, Samuchit Enviro Tech; Dr Gurudas Nulkar, professor, Symbiosis Centre for Management and members from the Climate Collective Pune (CCP) Sarang Yadwadkar, Anita Gokhale Benninger and Anupam Saraph, were present for the launch of the road map.
The road map is a strategic plan, research and suggestions developed in collaboration with experts in Pune as the Climate Collective Pune (CCP) group under the umbrella of PIC.
Thackeray stated that the state government is keen on working on five major schemes in the next five years which will include urban town planning, traffic management, solid waste management, urban forest planning and electric transport. “We have to adapt to climate change and build systems to counter it,” concluded Thackeray.