Mumbai: Aarey may finally get speed breakers

Thane Forest Department demands for them after camera traps show nine leopards in the area, as reported by mid-day

The Thane Forest Department (FD) authorities have been trying to get speed barriers installed along the internal roads that wind through Aarey, in order to prevent wild animals from being run over, but with little success.

Aarey
Motorists accelerating while using the roads have led to an increase in traffic congestion and road kills. File pic for representation

Also read: Activists demand wildlife corridors, more speed breakers inside Aarey

Now that there is evidence of the area being home to nine leopards, the FD is hoping the BMC is spurred into action. On January 9, mid-day had carried a report (Hey MMRDA, Aarey is a forest and it has leopards. Here’s proof) along with photographs from the Thane Forest Department’s recent camera trapping showing nine leopards roaming in the area, proving that Aarey does support wildlife.

Also read: Aarey authorities devise new formula to stop road kill

Chief Conservator of Forest, KP Singh said, “We will  soon write to the BMC and Public Works Department highlighting the need for barriers. Now that the official report has been submitted to us, we are optimistic that action will be taken.”

What Next?
Based on footage from the camera trapping, researcher Rajesh Sanap and wildlife photographer and naturalist
Nayan Khanolkar have suggested certain measures towards wildlife preservation.

These are:

1. Installation of multiple speed breakers and barricades in order to prevent road accidents that could result in the death of animals, including leopards, especially at leopard crossing points such as Aarey Hospital and a few other internal junctions.

2. On weekends, citizens visit Aarey for recreational purpose and are unaware of leopard presence. Put up signboards to make people aware of big cats.

3. Fire lines should be created to control forest fires.

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