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The Pune Municipal Corporation has decided to spend ₹ 26.25 crore on increasing green cover in the civic limits through conservation of urban forest area and tree plantation drives. The Joint Forest Management Committee would undertake the process in various stages to protect the urban forests in Warje. In 1988, the Union Government had launched an initiative of preserving the forests jointly with the help of the forest department, villagers, local civic bodies and the joint management committee of officials.
As per the proposal, ₹ 5.25 crore per year will be spent planting indigenous trees in areas like Bhamburda and Warje. Further, building boundary walls, water tanks and other facifacilities on the hills will be undertaken as part of the project.
Previous Monetary Allocation
The Indian Express quoted the chairperson of the Standing Committee as saying, "PMC had allocated ₹10.23 crore for the initiative from 2006 to 2011, out of which ₹ 9.61 crore was used for developmental work. After that, it allocated ₹ 4.8 crore for conservation and protection of forests, but ₹ 2.31 crore of the allocated fund was spent on development work." He added that now the civic authority has increased the allocation to ₹ 26 crore for the next five years to protect and conserve the forest in Warje Range.
The first phase covered 988 acres of forest, which included 988 acres in Pachgaon Parvati, 250 acres in Bhambudra range and 125 acres in Warje. The second phase included work in the areas of Kothrud and Dhanori. Though the funds have been approved, it will be disbursed according to the financial situation of the civic body in the next five years.
The city has been losing forest cover. According to Global Forest Watch, in 2010, Pune had 7.44 thousand hectares (Kha) of tree cover, extending over 0.48 per cent of its land area. In 2020, it lost 9.80 hectare (ha) of tree cover. From 2002 to 2020, Pune lost 8ha of humid primary forest, making up 7.0 per cent of its total tree cover loss in the same time period.
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