Mumbai: 150 volunteers to ensure zero fires at Tungareshwar, SGNP
Over 2 lakh devotees expected to visit Shiva temples at the parks tonight and tomorrow; all will be screened for inflammable material
Taking serious note of the fire incidents in the city, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park authorities have decided to increase patrolling in SGNP and Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary where more than two lakh devotees visit the Shiva temples in the forest during Mahashivratri. Forest department officials, along with 100-150 volunteers will be conducting strict patrolling at Tungareshwar from tonight and all inflammable material will be confiscated at the gate itself.
At the sanctuary in Vasai East, more than 1.5-2 lakh devotees visit the temple from the midnight of shivratri. More than 1 lakh people visit SGNP and other temples situated in the park on the day of the shivratri and it becomes difficult for the forest department to handle the situation by itself due to limited staff.
Assistant Conservator of Forest Mohan Naikwade from SGNP said, "This year too, SGNP staff along with the volunteers will ensure there are no forest fire incidents inside Tungaresgwar Wildlife Sanctuary and SGNP. In Tungareshwar, there are thousands who visit the Shiva temple. We will ensure that no one enters the park with matchboxes, lighters, etc."
In Tungareshwar, there are groups of devotees who make arrangements for fresh food for devotees visiting at night and use stoves and cylinders to cook. "At the meeting at SGNP three days back, it was decided that this year we will take better precautions as we don't want any fire related incident. The forest department has also told the groups they will not be allowed to cook in the open this year," said Krishna Tiwari, from NGO Forest and Wildlife Conservation Centre.