Pune: To save city’s Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary from illegal tree cutting in the name of road development and metro rail work, more than 740 citizens made a human chain on Saturday from Gunjan Chowk to Shastri Chowk, parallel to the sanctuary.
Students and people from different professions carrying placards with messages like ‘Save birds’, ‘Save trees’, ‘Save environment’, ‘Be green wear green’, among others, participated in the campaign.
Dharmaraj Patil, an ornithologist and environment activist, said, “We did not expect that people will come together in such a large number for the cause.”
Sameer Nikam, another environment activist and founder of NGO Clean River Society, said, “City’s development is necessary, Metro should be made but all these work and development should not harm the environment. And if any development works lead to environmental damage, then the future generation will be left to give us fresh air to breathe.”
Vinay Kulkarni, an IT professional, said, “We just want that the illegal tree cutting should be stopped, metro and road should not be developed in the sanctuary. Because this place is a virgin habitat for many migratory birds and this year’s migratory season we have noticed that there is a decrease in 10 to 20 per cent of migratory birds.”
Yukta Mookhey joins campaign
Yukta Mookhey, an actress and former Miss World, also joined the human chain. She said, “I do not see any reason behind constructing road and metro from the sanctuary. The metro can be constructed underground and the road can be made elsewhere. Humans are not capable of making of what ‘Mother Earth’ can do, so are just asking to stop the road and metro work and also stop cutting trees and declare the sanctuary as a heritage site.”