Pune: The National Green Tribunal Bench (western zone) has summoned the district collector, commissioners of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), following a complaint filed against them for failing to stop rampant illegal construction taking place on the hills. The tribunal has also asked builder Kisan Dhavji Rathod and his brother Pandit to file an affidavit within three weeks. The complainant has alleged that such construction is leading to deterioration of the ecosystem.
In April, city-based lawyer PP Goyal had filed a petition against state secretary of Ministry of Environment and Forest, asking him to take action against the builders and the authorities who were allegedly held responsible for the death of a 31-year-old woman and her 14-month-old daughter. In June last year, the duo was washed away in a flash flood in the Shindewadi area, which was an outcome of the incessant illegal construction happening on Katraj hill.
“The state is surrounded by hills and this beauty must be preserved. If trees are cut down for constructions, the hill area will automatically reduce. This will ultimately lead to pollution, landslides and floods, which may cost human life,” Goyal told dna, adding, “Destruction of the hills can even change the natural flow of the rivers.”
According to Goyal, a lot of construction is happening in the hills in Ambegaon, Lonavala, Talegeoan, Daund and Maval and these activities are taking place on the direction given by PMC and PCMC. “A complaint was registered by the NHAI at the Rajgad police station after the builder brothers had started operations of a Tata Motors Service Centre on the land without seeking permission, and thereby, disrupting the natural flow of the water by damaging the hill tops near Katraj Tunnel,” said Goyal in his complaint.
When contacted, Rathod’s lawyer AN Misal said, “The matter is subjudice and in 10 days, we will file an affidavit before the tribunal.”