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A plan to clear 122 trees from SGNP Sanjay Gandhi National Park in order to construct tunnels between Borivali and Thane in Mumbai has been authorized by the State Board of Wildlife. Environmentalists have criticized the idea because it might endanger species and cause ecological harm.
According to those with knowledge of the situation, the State Board of Wildlife has given the go-ahead for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to cut down 122 trees in the core area and eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in order to construct twin tunnels linking Borivali and Thane. A total of 27 holes will need to be dug with explosives for the chief minister’s favorite project.
The decision made at the board meeting on Monday, which was presided over by the forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, was kept secret out of fear of backlash from environmentalists.
According to the meeting’s agenda, 68 of the 122 trees have girths that are less than 60 centimeters, while the remaining 122 have girths that are greater than 60 centimeters. The ESZ and protected area will require up to 15 six-inch holes to be bored. The anticipated project cost is Rs. 18,795.70 crore, of which MMRDA is required to deposit Rs. 379.54 crore as mitigation costs.
To reduce hazards to animals, MMRDA has been instructed to build concrete fences surrounding the blasting locations. The agenda said that precautions will also be made to prevent landslides as a result of the drilling operations.
MMRDA could not be reached for comment despite attempts, while G Mallikarjun, the director of SGNP, declined to comment. B V Reddy, the secretary of the forest, said nothing as well.
Despite the state wildlife board’s permission and the ministry of environment, forest, and climate change’s clearance under the Forest Conservation Act, a forest officer affiliated with SGNP stated that additional approvals would still be needed.
Under SGNP is the Thane-Borivali Twin Tunnel
The Borivali-Thane twin tunnel is being built, and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has issued an invitation for bids. Once complete, the tunnel would significantly cut the amount of time needed to travel between the two locations.
The Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), the only national park in the world to be situated inside a metropolitan region, would be traversed by a portion of the planned tunnel.
In the Mumbai metropolitan area (MMR), it now takes more than an hour to get from the western suburb of Borivali to the eastern suburb of Thane. Travel time will be cut to only 15 minutes after this 11.84 km-long road project is completed beneath the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
The Thane-Borivali tunnel project is a part of the Goregaon Mulund Link Road (GMLR) project, which comprises constructing an east-west traffic corridor to connect Mulund in the eastern suburbs with Goregaon in the western suburbs. There is currently no direct route that connects these places, therefore commuters must take Ghodbunder Road in Thane or Powai instead. During rush hour, both of these roadways are still backed up..
Twin tunnels totaling 10.8 km in length and an additional km in approach roads on both ends (Thane and Borivali) make up the planned project. There have been new road building projects totaling 23.68 km, including a tunnel.
SGNP is second lungs of Mumbai
few national parks in the world that is entirely contained within a city is Sanjay Gandhi National Park. It is undoubtedly one of a kind in India. It offers a green oasis in the middle of Mumbai’s urban sprawl, acting as a vital breathing place for the metropolis and providing a natural habitat for a variety of animals. You must be aware of occasional reports of leopard sightings. That’s really crazy!”
In relation to leopards, Sanjay Gandhi National Park is renowned for having a strong leopard population. It is one of the few national parks in the world that is adjacent to a heavily populated metropolis and where leopards have developed a tolerance for coexisting with people.