Mumbai: Morning walkers to be allowed in Sanjay Gandhi National Park soon

Updated: 07 October, 2020 07:48 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

Depending on response from walkers, park will be opened for tourists at a later stage

Morning walkers will be divided into groups to ensure social distancing is maintained. File pic
Morning walkers will be divided into groups to ensure social distancing is maintained. File pic

Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) officials are planning to start the park for morning walkers in the coming weeks. There are close to 8,000 morning walkers registered with SGNP and the park will be opened for people between 5.30 am to 7.30 am. According to officials, a total of three groups will be made and every alternate day each group will be allowed in for a walk and will have to follow social distancing norms and will mandatorily have to wear masks.

Depending on the response from walkers, the decision to open the park for tourists will be taken at a later stage. SGNP officials said that due to lockdown the park was facing a revenue loss of Rs 50 lakh to Rs 75 lakh per month.

As and when the park is opened for tourists, the entry to private vehicles will be restricted. "By January, we will get a fleet of 16 electric buses. Eight buses in two shifts will ferry the people from the main gate up to Kanheri caves and back," added Mallikarjun.

Miyawaki forest in SGNP

After BMC introduced the concept of Miyawaki forests — an afforestation technique which uses native species to create dense and multilayered forests, the SGNP will be using the same method on two plots identified. Confirming the development, SGNP Director and Chief Conservator of Forest (CCF) G Mallikarjun said, "We will soon develop a Miyawaki forest in SGNP and two patches of 20 x 30 metres have been identified."

2 leopards to be radio-collared

Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (APCCF) Sunil Limaye also told mid-day that the Radio Collaring project of leopards is moving further and if everything goes as per plan, then by January, two leopards will be radio-collared. "All the necessary permissions for radio collaring leopards are almost in final stages of approval and we are waiting for the collars to be imported," said Limaye.

No. of groups, walkers will be divided in

Approx no of walkers registered with SGNP

Aarey reserve forest notification

The Forest Department has said the notification regarding declaring 800-acre of the forested patch in Aarey milk colony as a Reserved Forest will be published by this month. "The Dairy Development Department and Revenue Department own the 800 acres of land in Aarey which will be declared as a forest and a joint survey has been completed. After that the land will be handed over to the Forest Department," a Forest Department official said.

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First Published: 07 October, 2020 07:47 IST

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