Wildlife board approves survey for 11-km tunnel under Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai
The board approved a proposal to conduct a geo-technical survey for a tunnel between Borivli and Thane and widening of NH-8mumbai Updated: Feb 01, 2018 00:07 IST
The Maharashtra State Wildlife Board (MSWB) on Wednesday approved major proposals pertaining to construction in the forest area of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) and of the Mumbai-Nagpur Super Expressway that cuts across three sanctuaries.
The board approved a proposal to conduct a geo-technical survey for a tunnel between Borivli and Thane and widening of NH-8. It, however, deferred the proposal to build a multi-modal Virar-Alibaug corridor. The board also rejected proposals of bauxite mining along Western Ghats and declared the Ghodazari as a new wildlife sanctuary that is in the north-east end of Tadoba.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) had proposed to build a new road connecting Borivli and Thane through a tunnel under the SGNP. “The final nod to the tunnel will be given only after considering the impact on the ecology after the survey,” said CM Devendra Fadnavis, who chaired the meeting .
The project to widen NH-8 (Surat to Dahisar stretch) from four to six lanes was given a go ahead on an already existing road that passes from the fringes of the SGNP, said Anish Andheria, president, Wildlife Conservation Trust and member of the MSWB. Nearly 1.5 km of NH-8 passes through the SGNP periphery, and 4.5 hectares are needed for this.“When it comes to projects around SGNP, we asked the project proponents to submit a consolidated proposal from now rather than individual projects. The CM asked them to send proposals before the wildlife board meets next,” he said. “While approvals have been issued to survey projects along SGNP, the findings will be weighed in, compared with other proposals in the same area, then discussed and finally decided upon during later meetings.”
The state government has admitted to the mitigation measures for conservation of wildlife while giving nod to the construction of the Mumbai-Nagpur Super Expressway. The e-way passes through Katepurna, Karanja, Sohol sactuaries and eco sensitive zone of Tansa sanctuary.
The MSWB also granted permission to Tejas, Shiv Sena chief Uddhv Thackeray’s younger son, to collect specimens of freshwater crabs for research in Chandoli National Park in Satara, Kolhapur and Sangli. The permission has been given as Tejas, who studies the varied species, claims to have discovered net species of freshwater crabs.