Officer with stellar record in charge of Thane forest department

The Asian Age.  | Neha L.M. Tripathi

Metros, Mumbai

Sunil Limaye stood out during his tenure as field director at SGNP before he was transferred to Pune as CCF in 2013.

Sunil Limaye

Mumbai: Environmentalists of the city are a happy lot after the Sanjay Gandhi National Park’s (SGNP) former field director Sunil Limaye, a pioneer in starting human-animal co-existence programmes at the park, has now been transferred to the Thane Forest Department (TFD) as chief conservator of forest (CCF).

Mr Limaye will take over as CCF of TFD from Monday. Animal activists, nature lovers and environmentalists said that his presence in the department will, like at SGNP, not only reduce encroachments but also lead to better coordination among forest officers leading to better results.

Pawan Sharma, founder of Resqink Association of Wildlife Welfare, said, “Sir has already worked in the city and handled wildlife both here and in Pune, which is going to be beneficial for city wildlife. Moreover, the officer already is well-versed with the city and has a rapport with the locals and officers working in the territorial range. His work experience in the city will also help in making changes and executing them at faster speed.”

Debashish Majumdar, founder of Thane Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said, “To have an officer who knows the state of the region is an advantage for the city wildlife. We are hoping for better level of work from the territorial range after he takes charge as he is well aware of all the problems and the need for them to be resolved.”

Speaking to The Asian Age, Mr Limaye confirmed his transfer and said, “The order was issued on Thursday.” Mr Limaye will replace K.P. Singh, who served as CCF of territorial range from 2013 and has now been transferred in Mr Limaye’s place as CCF of Pune division.

Mr Limaye stood out during his tenure as field director at SGNP before he was transferred to Pune as CCF in 2013. During his tenure at SGNP, Mr Limaye commenced the initiative, ‘Mumbaikars for SGNP’, a group of experts, locals and nature lovers that helped the Forest Department build a bridge between the locals and the department. This group played a crucial role in bringing human animal conflict to zero in the city in the past three years.