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Steps taken to preserve Durgadevi Tekdi's beauty

Archana Dahiwal (DNA)  

Pune: The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has imposed a ban on the use of plastic on Durgadevi Tekdi, a picturesque hill and a holiday spot. The ban will come into effect from Sunday.

It has invoked the Maharashtra Non-Biodegradable Garbage Control Resolution and Maharashtra Plastic Disposable Act, 2006. Residents have welcomed the civic body's decision.

PCMC chief medical officer, Dr Nagkumar Kunchagi, said once the ban is implemented, visitors would not be allowed to carry plastic bags or bottles up the hill. "The staff of the garden department will be deployed there to keep tabs on violators of the rules," he added.

The security guards at the gate will check visitors' belongings before letting them climb the hill. Since records of visitors are maintained, any visitors found violating the rules will be fined Rs5,000 for the first time. If the same visitor violates the rule for the second time the fine would be Rs10,000. It would be Rs25,000 and three-month imprisonment for third-time
violators.

The civic administration had developed the hill area in 1987. Nearly 2,000 local residents visit the hill for morning walks. Over two lakh trees have been planted on it. The hill has a waterfall and a floating fountain which add to the beauty of the park there.

The garden authority had planted 25,000 new trees on the hill to attract migratory birds last year. Recently, the authority built a new 2-km jogging track with pelvic blocks, planted flower saplings to attract butterflies and installed new toys in the children's play area.

The Pradhikaran senior citizens' club has welcomed the PCMC's decision to ban plastic on the hill. The club's medical committee head, Dr Digambar Ingole, told DNA that such a step would enable the civic body to keep the hill clean. The club members had carried out a cleanliness drive on the hill last year.

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