On July 20, 2019, around 350 people in Pune rallied in the streets to protest against the High Capacity Mass Transit Route (HCMTR) project. The protesters formed a human chain near Anandvan hills, which is one of the green areas in the city that will be targeted by the HCMTR project. More than 1,900 trees will need to be felled.
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had carried out a detailed study of the transportation requirements of Pune Metropolitan Area during 19781982. The study highlighted the need for an HCMTR corridor to support the everincreasing vehicular population and urbanisation in the city due to rapid developments in the information technology sector. The HCMTR corridor is proposed to pass through Bopodi, Aundh, Shivajinagar, Erandwane, Kothrud, Karve Nagar, Dattawadi, Parvati, Bibvewadi, Wanawadi, Salisbury Park, Hadapsar, Mundhwa, Kalyani Nagar, Yerawada and Kalas areas. The corridor is supposed to meet the future travel demand of Pune as well as reduce the traffic congestion on existing roads. The PMC included HCMTR in its development plan in 1987.
However, citizens have started an online petition claiming that a plan created in 1982 cannot justify the felling of nearly 2,000 trees now. They also claim that the project will result in a huge loss of community livelihoods and heritage sites. They are further concerned about groundwater contamination in the liklihood of construction in areas that recharge groundwater.
The residents had planned to agitate every week until a public hearing on August 9, 2019, which got cancelled due to heavy rains. They had earlier agitated in 2013 when they managed to collect and submit over 7,000 signatures to the concerned authorities.
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Pune Municipal Corporation
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Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Anandvan Mitra Mandal Pune, Deccan Gymkhana Parisar Samiti, HCMTR Nagrik Kruti Samiti
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