Mumbai: Authorities tear down another hooch brewery in national park

A month after this paper reported on illegal alcohol manufacturing units inside the national park, authorities found yet another one on Saturday

The Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) authorities overseeing the Yeoor Range demolished an illegal liquor brewing unit inside the reserve forest three days back.

Officials dismantle the implements used to brew booze inside the forest on Saturday morning
Officials dismantle the implements used to brew booze inside the forest on Saturday morning

The authorities are doing round-the-clock patrolling to see if there are any more illegal activities going on that require official action. According to an SGNP official, “We got a tip-off that bootlegging was going on at one of the locations in SGNP.

mid-day’s report on November 3
mid-day’s report on November 3

My team and I visited the area and demolished the liquor brewing activities in the jurisdiction of Panchpakhadi beat no 521, at the base of the mountain close to a religious structure.” At regular intervals, the SGNP team and forest guards conduct patrolling and make surprise visits to SGNP, Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary and Nagla area.

About a month ago, mid-day had done a story (‘Hooch being made inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park’, November 3) following thorough investigations about the alcohol-brewing units operating inside the park premises, particularly its peripheries around Vihar lake.

Tribal dwellers in the area sought assurances of anonymity before telling mid-day that there were close to 20 such units at different spots in the jungles. Taking a serious note of the article, a team of 20 Forest Department officials had visited the spot last month and destroyed an illegal liquor brewing unit outside the forest patch near Saibhangoda.

A search operation was carried out in the adjoining area but nothing else was found. On Monday evening, when mid-day visited the Saibhangoda tribal area near Aarey Milk Colony close to Vihar lake, we found no liquor units. Sources from the area told us that after our story, the forest department and police and excise officials did surprise checks in the area, because of which the units are no more operational.

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