Kaas in Satara district is one of the main plateaus of flowers in Maharashtra and recently has been declared as a World heritage site. Maharashtra Vruksha Samvardhini had organized a seminar on ‘Conservation of Kaas plateau’ which was leaded by Dr. Aparna watave. “Increased tourism and lack of management lead a serious threat to the plateau.
In order to conserve this plateau proper management is necessary. Local people should be involved in the conservation programme. Ispite of flowers, the plateau is known for rare insects, birds and snakes. Care should be taken that these species do not get harmed”, said Prerana Agarwal. Dr.Watave said “the efforts need to be done to conserve and to develop controlled tourism”
A lot of illegal constructions have been observed in and around Pune city. Such illegal constructions may lead to accidents or mishaps. Recently, an unauthorized construction has been observed at Pulachi Wadi final plot no 651. Snehal Patole has been demanding an immediate action against unauthorized constructions.
In Pune city, there have been no rains since June. But catchment areas of dams- Panshet , Khadakwasala and Sinhagad fort have received good rains which causes heavy crowd at these places during weekends. The number of visitors to the historic fort has been increasing and the number was highest on the Sunday. Overcrowding was reflected in traffic problems and accidents on the road leading to Sinhagad fort. It also gives rise to unruly behaviour under influence of alcohol, troubling other visitors. During vehicle checking at Golewadi, members from Forest Department had discarded liquor bottles, tobacco and other tobacco products to conserve environment and heritage of the fort. ” Total of Rs.67 thousands have been collected as entry fee from the tourists”, said Forest Officer Mr. Mahesh Bhawasar. From this it can be imagined how tourism can relate to environmental degradation.
Maharshtra has a huge cache of forts, almost all in dilapidated state. There is need to preserve and protect these forts. From all over Maharashtra, 14 forts have been included in ‘Master list’ of state government. It includes Rajgad, Torana, Sinhagad, Sangramdurg, Vishalgad, Naldurg, Paranda, Ambagad, Manikgad etc. Each and every fort has its unique features and fabulous construction. They have a verity of features to attract nature lovers, researchers. As a part of tourism these forts are of very much importance. But many of them are not maintained properly, monuments have not been repaired. Photography is not allowed at some forts. In such cases, how would it be possible to attract people to these monuments? Though government has included these forts in master list, it has not taken any action to restore them. Mr.S.Gojmgunde, representative of Sahyadri Pratishthan has asked the Chief Minister to allocate money to repair the damaged monuments on these forts.
Raigad fort is the point of attraction for tourists and history lovers; however it gets polluted by plastic bottles used by these people. A clean up activity was held by Shri Shivaji Raigad Smarak Mandal Pune and Raygad rope way administration. Around 50 college students of Pune and Mahad, participated in this activity. More than 14000 bottles were found on the fort which was thrown by the visitors. Raigad is the only fort which has rope way and hence it has maximum number of visitors. The fort should be regularly cleaned, however the respective archaeology department does not pays attention to it. All tourists should take utmost care to maintain the cleanliness of our forts says the activists Sudhir Thorat and president of History lovers group Mohan Shete.
30-feet-wide wingspan model of an eagle erected right in the middle of the rocky outcrop is the reason for decrease in numbers of birds in park! The eagle is used as a ‘bird scarcer’ device in agricultural lands abroad to save the crops from birds. I. It is sarcastic that we must have the same for decorative purposes in a place designated for conservation of birds. The garden department of PCMC constructed jogging tracks, bird watching facilities, propped up models of parrots and an owl on the bamboo gates, and created an artificial beach spread out over 3,500 square meters. The eagle was the last straw. Vikas Patil, environmental activist and a member of the State Government’s Paryavaran Sanvardhan Samit said that once it was decided that this was to be a bird valley; there was no need to turn it into a place for entertainment. There is also Skating rink, an amphitheatre and high-voltage lights around the lake. Due to the blazing 24-hour lighting, the birds cannot build their nests around the lake. Hence this place has now an active tourist spot. Mr. Patil also adds that this is an example of how a project should not be and how unaware we are about preserving the environment despite spending crores of rupees.
Valley used to be home to black and white storks, grey herons, egrets, water hens, flamingos, painted storks, Crows, sparrows, parrots, pigeons, cuckoos, kites and kingfisher— each species flocking here in thousands till three years ago. Today, you can barely see 10 crows here in a day and the migratory birds that used to flock here between October and January were missing in the last season. The bushes surrounding the lake also housed the birds’ eggs and nests. Three years ago the place was full of migratory birds. But since the renovation, everything has vanished. There are no indigenous trees around the lake either.
Sanjay Kulkarni, executive engineer, who heads PCMC’s environment cell, said that these are just rumors. He doesn’t care what activists and other people have to say. He has sometimes seen a bird wandering around the model of the eagle. The high voltage lights are important for security and lack of space has prevented us from planting trees.