Home Thadka Vartha National park faces another threat as foothill road, tunnel proposed

National park faces another threat as foothill road, tunnel proposed


THANE: While environmentalists and concerned citizens fight to protect the green cover in and around the city, yet another project cutting into Sanjay Gandhi National Park has been proposed. This time, the Thane municipal corporation has proposed a 14-km long road, alongside the Yeoor forests, linking Mulund with Gaimukh.
The road, estimated to cost Rs 800 crore, will connect the northernmost tip of Mulund at Shrinagar off the LBS Road with Gaimukh, on the outskirts of Thane on Ghodbunder Road. It will have a 407metre-long tunnel near the Upwan lake skirting the Yeoor jungles, said an official. This is the third such project proposed to infiltrate SGNP, after the Thane-Borivli ropeway and Goregaon-Mulund Link Road, drawing the ire of environmentalists who have suggested that the administration find an alternative route.The corridor could cut the congestion in Thane, which sees heavy freight traffic heading to the ports in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. The six-lane foothill road is likely to save 45 minutes of travel time for motorists who now spend nearly 1.25 hours to cover the 20km stretch passing through the Eastern Express highway and Ghodbunder Road.
A detailed presentation on the project was made by Thane municipal commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal before Union minister of surface transport Nitin Gadkari recently, following which the TMC has been given the go-ahead to prepare a feasibility report. “The minister has asked us to work on the project further and seek clearances from the forest and environment department and has assured complete financial assistance,” said Jaiswal.
Environmentalists have questioned the need for repeatedly intruding in the forest zone. “Already two projects have been proposed to run through the SGNP, so what is the need for another one? Such a project will mean rampant chopping off trees and damage to the ecosystem,” said Vidyadhar Walavalkar, an environmentalist.
Civic officials say they will be working on minimizing impact on the environment. “We have already listed our mitigation plans to counter any ill effects on the environment here in our presentation,” said an official.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here