Mumbai: Forest dept all set to prevent fires at SGNP on New Year's Eve

Updated: Dec 29, 2018, 15:30 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Dec 31 sees people trying to illegally enter the forest to light bonfires in celebration of New Year

Mumbai: Forest dept all set to prevent fires at SGNP on New Year's Eve
The fire at Aarey earlier this month had destroyed a large area of forest land

In light of the fire incidents across the city, authorities will also be keeping a strict vigil in forest areas on New Year's Eve. This is the time when many people illegally enter the park in order to party and light bonfires. Teams have been formed to patrol the focus areas.

SGNP Director and Chief Conservator of Forest Anwar Ahmed said, "We would like to request people to avoid entering the park post-sunset as any illegal entry will attract serious action and anyone caught will be booked for trespassing."

With the recent incident of forest fires, allegedly lit by anti-social elements inside the forested patch in Aarey Milk Colony, SGNP authorities don't want to take any chance with the same happening in the park, too. So, a team of fire watchers and trained staff that can douse forest fires have been posted at strategic locations inside the park and they have been even conducting foot patrolling to prevent any incidents of forest fires.

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As there are many slum pockets and housing societies on the periphery of the park, miscreants enter the forested patch through broken boundary walls at some locations. Around 50-60 staffers from SGNP and Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary will be conducting the patrolling and wherever patrolling via vehicle is not possible, staff members will conduct foot patrolling.

Moreover, the authorities have also decided to deploy additional staff at the main entry gate of SGNP who will thoroughly check the cars and also baggage of tourists and motorists entering the park during the day. The forest department officials are also keeping special tabs on the illegal entry points of the forest where the walls are broken. The FD will also keep tabs on the Yeoor range area, which is known for its New Year Celebrations.

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