Golden Swan Club in Yeoor Hills, a part of the notified forest area at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, will be accessible till 11pm instead of 7pm, which is the time restriction imposed on vehicles by forest authorities.
Clubs situated inside Yeoor Hills in Thane are popular for parties and picnics.
A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice SJ Vazifdar, on Thursday, relaxed the deadline for members, guests and staff of the club on an application filed by the club.
The court clarified that only vehicles headed towards Golden Swan Club will be allowed entry and exit till 11pm and after 7am. “There should be no movement inside the sanctuary other than on the road to the club,” the court said. Following an earlier high court order, forest authorities restricted entry to private vehicles inside the park — they couldn’t ply between 6pm and 6am. Only government vehicles, emergency vehicles and those belonging to tribals in Yeoor village were permitted to ply after sunset. The court has also directed the state to frame rules under the Wildlife Protection Act if it intends to restrict entry inside the park after sunset.
The chief justice said, “This condition (restricting vehicles after sunset) should be uniform throughout the country. But the government has to do something about it. Why do you (Maharashtra government) want a legal order?”
Justice Vazifdar said, “It is one of the few good places left in Mumbai. We do not want our order to affect it.” Prasad Dhakepalkar, senior advocate for the club, said it had been functioning since 1991 and had at least 1,000 members. The club is 1.6km inside Yeoor village and uses only 600 m of the access road that passes from the national park’s forest area, Dhakepalkar said.