Pune's first dog park faces approval delays

PMC is now exploring other large amenity spaces in different parts of the city, including a site near Baner on national highway has been identified.
File Pic
File PicImage source: Sakal Media Group

Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation has planned to establish the city's first dog park near the Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park in Katraj. However, the project has hit a snag due to a lack of approval from the Central Zoo Authority.

The proposed park, intended to be a separate entity that wouldn’t disturb zoo animals, is facing delays despite explanations from municipal officials.

With Pune's growing population and the rising number of pets, the need for dedicated spaces for dogs has become apparent. Citizens frequently take their dogs to parks and on walks, leading to cleanliness issues due to dog waste, which has sparked complaints and disputes.

Inspired by similar facilities in Mumbai and Hyderabad, the municipal corporation chose a 4.5-acre plot adjacent to the zoo on Katraj-Kondhwa Road. After an inspection by the former municipal commissioner, a budget of ₹7 crores was allocated for the project.

The park plans included amenities such as walking paths, poop scoopers, composting pits, an amphitheater, a veterinary clinic for first aid, a training center, play areas, a grooming parlor, a swimming pool for dogs, and parking for dog owners.

Despite these comprehensive plans, the park falls within the jurisdiction of the zoo, necessitating approval from the Central Zoo Authority. Municipal officials have outlined measures to ensure the park's independence from the zoo and the well-being of the zoo animals. Nonetheless, approval remains pending.

To keep the project moving, the municipal corporation is now exploring other large amenity spaces in different parts of the city. One potential site near Baner on the national highway has been identified. However, the efforts to get the Katraj site approved have not been abandoned.

"If the approval for the Katraj dog park is not received, efforts are ongoing. We are also looking for suitable locations in other parts of the city," said Ravindra Binwade, Additional Commissioner.

The search for new sites includes evaluating one-acre to three-acre plots, but the initial plan's extensive amenities may need to be scaled down if a smaller site is chosen.

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