The chief conservator and director of SGNP has demanded a plot of 0.99 hectares to set up a parking lot near the main gate at Kanheri.
Mumbai: The state forest department’s proposal to build a parking lot for visitors outside the main entrance of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) has finally come before the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for its approval. However, environmental activists are opposed to the proposal saying that it would adversely impact the beauty of SGNP.
The chief conservator and director of SGNP has demanded a plot of 0.99 hectares to set up a parking lot near the main gate at Kanheri. The proposal says that a parking lot is required for the convenience of domestic and foreign tourists visiting the SGNP.
According to forest conservation rule 1980, if a forest area is to be used for other purposes it needs the Centre’s permission. The parking lot project has already been approved by the Centre.
“The R-central ward had invited suggestions and objections over the proposal to set up a parking lot at SGNP. However, no claims have been received so far,” said assistant municipal commissioner, Atul Rao. As per the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, the municipal corporation’s permission is necessary for the project’s implementation in its jurisdiction.
Environmental activists have expressed anguish over the proposal. Stalin Dayanand from Vanashakti said, “It’s a totally unwanted proposal. Instead of building a parking lot, they should discourage people from using private vehicles inside the park. The SGNP is already not in good shape and the parking lot will further erode its beauty.”