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SGNP to get 800 acres of forest area in Aarey


SGNP to get 800 acres of forest area in Aarey
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The Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) is expected to get a major revamp as the region will see an 800-acre expansion. This comes as Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said he would designate 600 acres of land in Aarey as forest, following which the State Forest Department has said that it will add 200 acres to the CM’s proposal and also link the whole land parcel to SGNP.   

This will take the total area of SGNP to 106 sq km, offering more area for the animals that inhabit the Aarey forests. It is said that Aarey is home to nearly 40 leopards. 

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The director of SGNP G Mallikarjun has mentioned that the land will be acquired from the Revenue Department before it is declared a reserve forest. He added that the 800 acres of space will be spread across Goregaon, Aarey, and Marol Maroshi village as per revenue records.

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According to a senior official, the land will not include the site of the Metro 3 car shed as the authorities are yet to take a final call on shifting the contentious project.  

“There will be a process of suggestions and objections. This will take around nine months. There are several tribal hamlets here and the residents have legacy rights over the forest. So, we are expecting around 50 acres to remain outside the reserve forest area,” Forest Minister Sunil Kedar said. Additionally, Principal Secretary, Forest, Milind Mhaiskar said that the roads in Aarey will be improved while the authorities will also create new forest trails.

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