Mumbai News

No Ganpati immersion inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park: Bombay HC – Free Press Journal

No Ganpati immersion inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park: Bombay HC | Photo by BL SONI

The Bombay High Court has asked the government to ensure that there is no immersion of Ganesh idols inside the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) on September 9 (today). The court said that the Maharashtra government should safeguard and protect the environment as it has to be maintained for generations to come.

While directing the state government to deploy additional security at the park, a division bench of Justices PB Varale and SM Modak directed the state forest department to take appropriate legal steps against persons who attempt to enter the park for immersion.

The court said, “Non-forest activities are not permitted in SGNP as certain rare species of flora and fauna are found here. Human activities are minimised.”

The HC passed this order while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by city-based NGO Mumbai March, which had raised concerns over a newspaper article quoting a local political leader who said that the state forest department had granted permission for visarjan at SGNP on September 9.

Pointing out that the PIL was filed on apprehension following a news report, government pleader Poornima Kantharia said that the forest department authorities are vigilant enough to prevent any activity that causes damage to ecology, environment and wildlife.

The judges noted, “Let the state government follow its policy in letter and spirit and strengthen the activity of preventing any damage to ecology or wildlife.” The judges further cautioned, “In case even an attempt is made to mislead the public at large, by making certain untrue statements, the state government shall also take appropriate steps to prevent such mischief by taking recourse to provisions of law.”

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