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Protest Erupts in Punawale Against Solid Waste Management Project

Residents Unite Against Threat to Environment and Health

Pune | November 05, 2023: In a resounding display of unity, the Punawale Garbage Depot Removal Action Committee and Punawale Villagers joined forces to protest the proposed Punawale Solid Waste Management Project. On Sunday, November 5th, a spirited bike rally roared through the streets from 10 am to 12 am, with Punawalekar villagers and concerned citizens voicing their strong opposition.

Ashwini Tai Jagtap, the current MLA of PCMC, addressed the gathering and staunchly demanded the cancellation of the garbage depots, assuring the citizens, “I will not allow a garbage depot to be built here under any circumstances.” She pledged to lead a delegation from Punawale to meet with the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, and Forest Minister for an immediate resolution, garnering their support for the cause.

The rally drew participants from various neighboring areas, including Punawale, Thathwade, Marunji, Jambe, Hinjewadi, Life Republic Township, and Wakad, creating a vibrant Chipko movement to save their beloved environment.

Punawale, with its burgeoning urbanization, has attracted more than 1 lakh citizens who favor the natural beauty and proximity to the Hinjewadi IT Park. However, the proposed solid waste management project poses a severe threat to the health and environment of the residents. With buildings and housing societies situated within 200-400 meters of the project, the risk of contamination to the citizens’ health looms large.

Of significant concern is the project’s location near the forest, which will inflict extensive environmental damage and mar the area’s natural beauty. Additionally, the dam at Punawale supplies water to the entire city of Pimpri Chinchwad, and the project’s proximity raises fears of tainted water reaching the citizens.

Furthermore, the project’s western orientation clashes with the prevailing wind direction from west to east throughout the year. This poses a substantial risk to already developed areas like Wakad, Tathwade, Hinjewadi IT Park, Marunji, and the Mumbai Pune Highway, in addition to Punawale itself.

The protest represents a united front of citizens determined to safeguard their environment, health, and well-being against the looming threat posed by the proposed solid waste management project in Punawale.

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