Mumbai’s Sanjay Gandhi National Park reopens for visitors after 9 months with strict Covid-19 guidelines

Updated on Dec 16, 2020 12:48 AM IST

On Tuesday, around 300 people visited the park after its reopening

Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivli(HT File)
Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivli(HT File)
By, Mumbai

The Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Borivli was reopened on Tuesday after a gap of nine months with strict guidelines in place and several activities still restricted.

While tourists can enter the park from 8.30am to 6.30pm, attractions of the park such as the lion and tiger safari, mini train, boat rides over Dahisar River, and access to Vihar and Tulsi Lake areas will remain shut for tourists, according to SGNP guidelines. Also, Kanheri caves will not be accessible to visitors, as tourists are only allowed to go as far as the Trimurti Road Tumnipada gate.

On Tuesday, around 300 people visited the park after its reopening. “There were around 28 two-wheelers, seven four-wheelers, and 70 cycles apart from morning walkers. There are approximately 3,000 morning walkers visiting the park daily. Thus, we have opened up additional routes in the tourism zone for morning walkers,” said G Mallikarjuna, director and conservator of forest, SGNP, adding that by next week they will take a call on opening up all areas of the park.

“In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, we do not want to rush and take any risks and ensure citizens maintain a safe distance while coming to the park. We will be reviewing the situation carefully, and accordingly ease further restrictions in the future,” said G Mallikarjuna. The park had been shut since March 18 but was opened up for morning walkers from October 14 onwards.

The guidelines further stated that private vehicles will not be allowed inside SGNP, and will need to be parked at a dedicated paid parking space near the main entrance at Borivali. “The facility of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) buses have been provided at the entrance, which will ferry passengers to and for the park,” said Mallikarjuna.

Meanwhile, the use of face masks and sanitisers is a must, and persons entering the park without masks will be denied entry, the guidelines said. “Those feeling unwell should avoid coming,” said Mallikarjuna adding that any person having symptoms associated with Covid-19 are requested to avoid entering the park and if they do, their details will be shared with the nearest Covid-19 centre.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Badri Chatterjee is an environment correspondent at Hindustan Times, Mumbai. He writes about environment issues - air, water and noise pollution, climate change - weather, wildlife - forests, marine and mangrove conservation

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