Pune residents demand NIBM forest to be transformed into national urban forest
Currently , the said forest is in the middle of NIBM area where it is surrounded by residential buildings from all sides.Updated: Nov 22, 2020, 16:35 IST
Citizens from NIBM, Salunke Vihar, Kondhwa, Mohammadwadi and Undri are demanding transformation of over 200 acre of NIBM reserve forest into National Urban Forest as part of the mission of the Union Environment Ministry to convert barren city forests into urban forests for citizens under integrated urban forest development programme.
Currently , the said forest is in the middle of NIBM area where it is surrounded by residential buildings from all sides.
The said forest area is located behind the NIBM institute is a vast expanse of rich and rare biodiversity protected under Reserve Forest Act.
According to the citizens, urban forests play an important role in ecology of human habitats in many ways. The citizens of the area maintained that the constant inundation of their residential buildings downstream due to water flowing down from NIBM forest hill was causing several issues to the citizens like flooding of parking during monsoon.
Daljeet Goraya, Member, NIBM citizens watch group said “ We have petitioned the ministry seeking conversion of the reserve forest into an urban forest for the citizens. This is one of the largest reserve forest in the country and it can be developed into state of the art urban forest cum garden for the citizens of the area and entire Pune. There is a growing understanding of the importance of urban forests in the citizens and NIBM forest has rich flora and fauna. We demand immediate construction of fencing wall around the forest and ensure that the forest is protected for the next generation. We have also requested the government to beautify and develop the forest with people’s participation ,” he said.
Recently transferred additional principal chief conservator of forests (Pune division ) Vivek Khandekar who has overseen removal of encroachment in the NIBM forest area said “There were issues related to funds and we had received plan from the urban forest park development scheme on lines of Warje Urban Forest and we had readied plan to effect. We had also removed some encroachments in the forest area and I have now been transferred .” he said. It was during his tenure that the urban forest development plan was readied.
Green activist Praveen Kumar Anand said “ Anand Van Mitra Mandal has taken a pledge to convert the 200 NIBM forest stretch into urban forest. We want to created nine more forests here in this vast expanse of forest land which will act as a green shield.”