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Drive slowly, save wildlife, say Forest Department banners

Forest Dept has started putting up banners asking motorists to restrict speeds to 30 kmph while driving through forested areas to curb roadkills; banners are being put up inside Aarey Milk Colony and SGNP,  at Ghodbunder Road and on Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway 

In a bid to prevent wild animals from being knocked down by speeding vehicles inside Aarey Colony, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, on Ghodbunder Road and along the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway, forest department authorities are putting up banners requesting motorists to drive slowly while passing through forested areas. The posters are coming up in locations frequently used by animals for crossing.

STEP OFF THE GAS: One of the several posters asking motorists to slow down. More than 40 leopards have died in road accidents in the SGNP periphery from 1994 to 2011
Step off the gas: One of the several posters asking motorists to slow down. More than 40 leopards have died in road accidents in the SGNP periphery from 1994 to 2011

Rahul Anil Bagool, who is associated with Mumbaikars for Sanjay Gandhi National Park (MfSGNP) has already pu up six banners (10-ft x 6-ft) in Aarey Milk Colony.

Speaking to mid-day, Bagool said, “The road passing through the milk colony witnesses heavy vehicular movement in comparison to the SGNP. This increases chances of wild animals being run over by vehicles. Motorists speed on this road at night, and with leopards being nocturnal animal; chances of them being run over are high. Other animals also venture out in the night. So, to prevent casualties, we have put up banners at various locations on the Aarey Colony Road, appealing to motorists to drive slowly and avoid accidents.”

Officialspeak
“During monsoon, visibility is low because of rainfall, and spotting animals in dense foliage becomes difficult. So, we decided to install banners inside SGNP, especially at points which animals use for crossing. Banners will also be installed along the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway stretch close to the Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary and on Ghodbunder Road,” said a senior Sanjay Gandhi National Park official.

Grim facts

>> A study conducted by MfSGNP in 2012 revealed that 40 leopards have died in accidents in the SGNP periphery from 1994-2011.
>> Majority of the accidents occurred between Ghodbunder village and Vasai, near the Tungareshwar sanctuary
>> Some of the accidents were reported from Bhandup-NITIE Road, adjacent to IIT Road, and on Thane-Ghodbunder Rd

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