IT might be the end of the road for those of you who enjoy a visit to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in private vehicles. The authorities are planning to ban entry of the same and start CNG or battery-operated mini BEST buses from the main gate till Kanheri Caves.
To reduce inconvenience to park visitors, the SGNP, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), and BEST will start CNG-operated mini buses from the main gate, up to Kanheri Caves and Tiger Lion-Safari ticket window, from February 1.
“We have been planning to ban private vehicles inside SGNP for a long time,” said Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF) and SGNP Director Sunil Limaye. “On weekends, a lot of vehicles come into the park, disturbing the wild animals and causing noise and air pollution. The ban will be implemented a few weeks after the CNG vehicles start plying.”
Welcoming the move, Wildlife activist Krishna Tiwari said, “Restricting the entry of private vehicles will be a very good move as it will decrease noise and air pollution. It will also help in reducing litter in the forest and put a stop on accidents that happen due to speeding.”
At present, private vehicles are allowed inside the park but it is a pain for the forest department as many people stop their cars by the roads and enter the forest. The visitors litter in the forest as well, leading to fines. “Once private vehicles are banned , people won’t be able to enter the forest according to their whim. The bus going to Kanheri caves from the main gate will not halt elsewhere.” Limaye added.
Soon, SGNP tourists will not have to wait in a queue to buy tickets as the park authorities will be starting an online ticket booking system. The tourists will be able to book Lion-Tiger safari, boating, and entry tickets in advance.