National park visitors to be frisked for plastic items, liquor | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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National park visitors to be frisked for plastic items, liquor

All visitors to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) will be frisked for plastic items and alcohol at entry points starting Thursday.

mumbai Updated: Jul 19, 2012 00:38 IST
Snehal Rebello

All visitors to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) will be frisked for plastic items and alcohol at entry points starting Thursday. Park officials along with the local police will also randomly use breathalysers at various spots to check for alcohol consumption, in case some visitors manage to give them the slip.

Those found littering the park with plastic items or found consuming alcohol will be fined Rs 500. Besides the main gate, volunteers will also frisk visitors entering from the Tulsi lake gate.

“Volunteers will ask visitors to leave their plastic items behind before entering the park. Even though the amount of plastic litter has decreased since we launched the anti-plastic campaign last year, we have a long way to go in keeping the park plastic-free,” said Sunil Limaye, director and conservator of forests, SGNP.

The campaign to keep the national park plastic- and alcohol-free is a joint operation by the forest department, police and archaeological department. The archaeological department will be responsible for ensuring no one throws plastic at the Kanheri Caves inside SGNP.

“The monsoon is when we get the maximum number of visitors to the park. It is during this season that people come for trails, want to swim and consume alcohol,” said Limaye adding that last weekend, the park witnessed a record 10,000 visitors.

Park officials have decided to set up a compacter on the premises for all plastic waste, which will be handed over to a private firm for recycling.

“Vehicles entering the park and heading to the tourist zone will have to limit their speed to 20km an hour. Volunteers and forest guards are ensuring that visitors don’t go swimming in the lake during the monsoon as they could drown,” said Sachin Repal, assistant conservator of forests, SGNP.