Pune metro states no option, to go through Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
Despite the concerns raised by Kalyaninagar and Yerawada residents about the proposed realignment of the Pune Metro rail passing through the Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and the damage it could cause to the biodiversity of the area, Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (Maha-Metro) has stated that there is no alternate route option available to them.
Maha-Metro officials added that they will ensure that they take utmost care of the ecology in the area.
On Monday, residents of Kalyaninagar and Yerawada met local Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Jagdish Mulik to seek his intervention and speak to the Maha-Metro authorities about the proposed realignment of the Pune Metro project through Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary near the Mula-Mutha river.
According to Meghna Baphna, a resident of Kalyaninagar and part of the Friends of Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, said, “We are not against the metro, but we are opposing the fact that it is proposed to pass through the Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. It will completely destroy the biodiversity and it will be a disaster in the making.”
The residents, who went with their letter to MLA Jagdish Mulik, state that the metro should be underground from Gunjan chowk to Ramwadi. They also highlighted the fact that by proposing the metro through Kalyaninagar does not help people living in Yerawada and Nagpur chawl, or north of the Ahmednagar road who will not get any benefit from the metro.
According to Mulik, “Maha-Metro is an individual entity and I will try to discuss it with metro office-bearers this week.” Maha-Metro, however, clarified that they have no alternate options available, but the proposed route is the only viable route for the metro.
Ramnath Subramanium, executive director, Maha-Metro, said, “Initially, we had planned to have the metro on Ahmednagar road from Gunjan chowk to Ramwadi, but the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) stated that nothing can come up within 100 metres of the heritage site Aga Khan Palace, hence, we looked at other options and then chose this route which is actually coming up on the road that the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is building, so technically we are not going through the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. We are also very environment conscious and we are taking necessary care of replanting trees and preserving the ecology of the area.”