The State Wildlife Board on Wednesday has given a go ahead for proposal to allow the geotechnical survey for the Thane-Borivali tunnel, however they deferred the proposal for elevated road cutting through Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) by MSRDC citing lack of information.The proposal of the tunnel has been quite controversial and has been red-flagged by a section of environmentalists citing that it will pave way for destruction of SGNP and bring more such plans. However at the same time a section of environmentalists also believe that the survey will only help understand the project in a detailed manner and incase it does not have an adverse impact on SGNP, it should be allowed given the fact that will even end up easing the traffic.As per one of the board members the project was discussed at length the proposal for carrying out survey and geotechnical investigation as well as preparation of detailed project report (DPR) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study for construction of three lane underground tunnel between Tikuji-ni-wadi in Thane to Borivali East was given since it was just a survey being done for which drilling of nine small boreholes were.“We raised our concerns and made it amply clear that no such proposals will be cleared that threatens the biodiversity and SGNP itself. Even Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis assured that the project would be spiked incase the survey showed that there was any threat to Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) and hence as of now we have just given a go ahead to the survey,” said the member.Speaking with DNA, Dr Anish Andheria, President, Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) who is also one of the board members said that during the meeting they also emphasised that the board should not be treated as a ‘clearance board’. “We told the Chief Minister that we would like to also hold detailed discussion on issues of conservation and how we can protect the wildlife and biodiversity. Its an important role that we play,” he said adding that one of the positives of the meeting was declaration of Ghodazari in Chandrapur as a protected area.Ghodazari Wildlife Sanctuary gets approval from the State Wildlife Board:Located around 100 kilometers from Nagpur, the proposed 159.58 sq.km. area of Ghodazari wildlife sanctuary situated in Bramhpuri Forest Division of Chandrapur district will become the 61st Protected Area in the StateThe proposed area is spread over the hilly track around Ghodazari reservoir and is home to several species of wildlife including Tiger, Leopard, Gaur, Spotted deer, Sambar, Nilgai, Jackal, Wild boars and many other wild fauna apart from the birds and butterflies. As per wildlife experts this area plays a pivotal role in distribution of tigers in both Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve and Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve.
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