Nearly a year after parts of Sadanand Baba Ashram, located inside the Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thane, were razed on the directives of the Supreme Court, environmentalists have complained that illegal extensions are still being carried out in the area.
“I visited Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary on June 26 and was shocked to discover that the road from Parol to the ashram is still being used by vehicles to ferry devotees. The ashram trustees have also built two sheds within the ashram premises post demolition,” Environmentalist Debi Goenka of the Conservation Action Trust told The Indian Express.
Tungareshwar sanctuary is part of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP). The ashram occupies land in the area, which was declared a reserved sanctuary in 2003.
Goenka had moved court stating that the encroachment by the ashram was a threat to wildlife in the sanctuary. The Supreme Court had then called for razing parts of the ashram.
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When contacted, SGNP Director G Mallikarjun said, “Our officials, including the divisional forest officer, assistant conservator of forests and range forest officer, will visit the site in Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary. If at all any encroachment has come up, the same would be demolished.”