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Concerns Rise as Punawale Residents Oppose Proposed Waste Depot

Residents of Punawale express grave concerns over a proposed waste depot, fearing detrimental effects on their health and the environment, as MNS General Secretary Raj Thackeray assures a decision in two days.

Pune|October 29, 2023: The picturesque region of Punawale, nestled near the Hinjawadi IT Park, has witnessed significant urbanization, attracting over 100,000 residents due to its natural beauty and modern amenities. However, the specter of a proposed solid waste management project has cast a shadow of concern, as it is slated to be situated dangerously close to residential neighborhoods, only 200 to 400 meters away.

Back in 2008, when the solid waste management project received municipal approval, Punawale was far less urbanized than it is today. Over the past 15 years, the region has undergone rapid development, boasting housing projects, educational institutions, and healthcare facilities, making the potential impact of the waste depot all the more worrisome.

What exacerbates the concerns of residents is the proposed project’s location in the western part of the city, coupled with prevailing winds that blow from west to east. This raises the specter of odorous emissions affecting already established areas, including Wakad, Tathawade, the Hinjawadi IT Park, Marunji, and even the Mumbai Pune Highway, in addition to Punawale.

The Pune Municipal Commissioner, Shekhar Singh, has expressed an eagerness to commence the solid waste management project by December 2023. The project is expected to result in the felling of a significant number of trees in the Punawale Kate Wasti forest, spread across 22 hectares. This has further amplified environmental concerns among Punawale’s environmentally conscious residents.

In the face of these mounting concerns, Raj Thackeray, General Secretary of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), met with a delegation of concerned citizens, including Ganesh Satpute, Deputy City President Raju Sawale, Sub-Division President Vishal Salunkhe, Marunji City President Satosh Kawade, and others. Thackeray assured the residents that he would deliberate with the administration to explore alternative locations for the waste depot, thereby addressing the residents’ concerns.

Raj Thackeray stated, “I request two days to engage with the administration and thoroughly examine why this particular site was chosen for the waste depot. We will then discuss the possibility of identifying an alternative location for the depot and make an informed decision that best serves the interests of Punawale’s residents and environment.”

As the fate of Punawale’s environment and residents hangs in the balance, the coming days will undoubtedly be crucial in determining the course of action for the proposed waste depot project.

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