Once the New Year parties at the clubs near Yeeor end, officials of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park will assess the damage done to the forest area.
On December 23, the Bombay High Court allowed the entry of private vehicles into the popular picnic spot in the protected forest in Thane district. Club members’ cars will be allowed in after dusk till January 6 through the Madhuban gate.
“We will assess the damage after January 6,” said Dr PN Munde, conservator of forests and director of the park.
Munde had filed an affidavit in the high court opposing the entry of private vehicles in the area after sunset in order to protect the wildlife.
The order was passed after a petition was filed by Golden Swan Club, seeking permission for members to take their cars into the club from the Madhuban gate after 7 pm. The club has at least 1,000 members and has been operational since 1991.
This order vacated a stay granted last December on the entry of private vehicles into the area after dusk. The ruling comes at a time when a state-appointed committee is considering upgrading the status of the national park from a protected forest to ‘a critical wildlife habitat’. “A forest is not an entertainment area. It provides an ecological service,” said Kishore Rite, member of the Critical Wildlife Habitat Committee.