What is Bio Diversity Park[edit | edit source]

The development plan (DP) draft for 23 fringe villages recommends that 1,600 hectares of land in these fringe villages should be reserved for Bio Diversity Park (BDP), this includes 978 hectares of land owned by private owners and the rest is government land. Also, 60-metre strips on each side of a river, described as the floodline or the maximum limit of the river's carriageway, have been identified as a no-development area. The PMC will have to acquire the 978 hectares held by individuals by paying compensation.

Global Warming and Pune's Carbon Footprint[edit | edit source]

PMC has commissioned The Energy Research Institute (TERI) to calculate the city's carbon emission. Pune would be the first city in the country to do the carbon count. Experts say if the city sequesters (absorbs) carbon emissions by 20% Pune can earn Rs 2,282 crore. Certified Emission Reduction, popularly known as carbon credits, is possible through the BDP.

Town Planning Norms[edit | edit source]

Basic town planning theory recommends that one-third of every geographical area must be earmarked for forests and green spaces. By this token, Pune needs close to 37,000 acres of green space. However, only about 12,000 acres is presently available. This is why the green spaces in the 23 merged villages of Pune hold significance.

That the Trees absorb CO2 is generally accepted, however trees also emit methane and therefore increases emissions. There is disagreement on the view that the trees reduce harmful emissions. University of California Berkleys has done a lot of research on this.

The State Government's Stand[edit | edit source]

Principal secretary of State Urban Development Department, TC Benjamin has expressed doubts about the feasibility of a biodiversity park (BDP). Benjamin had told media persons that the civic body could not afford the estimated cost of Rs 3,000 crore to buy the green spaces earmarked for the BDP. He had also said that there could not be two rules for green spaces in the same city.

Section 22A of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act states that even a 10% modification in the proposed BDP could not be carried out by the state government without the consent of the people. Most people feel that BDP scheme by providing 4 % TDR is not going to work as people are going to oppose such acquisition.

Costs of Land Acquisition[edit | edit source]

When the PMC approved the DP in 2005, the estimated cost of land acquisition was around Rs 500 crore, which has now risen to Rs 905 crore. According to the civic body, Rs 655 crore will be needed to purchase the land, while another Rs 250 crore will be needed to prevent encroachments taking place on the same. The civic body, however, has no plans in place to raise the funds.

Funding Land Acquisition[edit | edit source]

  • Benninger recommended that the PMC generate funds for the proposed BDP by charging citizens a one-time levy of Rs 365 per annum (Re 1 per day) and issue 'clean air shares' in return.
  • The PMC could also sell carbon credits generated from the protection of 4,069 acres of green spaces available in the BDP zone. The Carbon Credit acquired by such means are not tradeable.

Whose Responsibility[edit | edit source]

The 74th amendment’s 12th schedule, clearly indicates that the urban forestry is the local government’s responsibility and the central government can help the city.

Supporters[edit | edit source]

Against the BDP[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Baner Balewadi DP

News[edit | edit source]

  1. BDP scrapping: state ignored 90,000 wishes, Pune Mirror `July 11th 2010
  2. Action sought against encroachments on BDP land, Times of India, The, Aug 26, 2009
  3. GREENS GUNG-HO on Pune biodiversity park, DNA, Jun 09, 2010
  4. Restore BDP to original form, Sakal Times, July 10, 2010
  5. Kalmadi announces plan to keep Pune green Sakal Times, July 12, 2010
  6. Pune will count its Carbon Pune Mirror,June 21, 2010
  7. Cash in Carbon, Pune Mrror, June 30, 2010
  8. City’s carbon footprint report soon, Jun 13 2010
  9. PMC to be the first civic body to prepare carbon footprint report The Punekar
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.