One of the more interesting things to capture my attention in the Executive Summary DP 2034 has been the gash into SGNP from the Goregaon side. This patch has been of interest to me since 2002 when I first saw the blasting. Even as we discuss Save Aarey currently it is important to discuss how this white patch intrudes into SGNP and should not this area be the buffer?
The gash I speak about is the the neat square white patch in the images below which I have captured from the Executive Summary document. The white patch intrudes ugly and very symmetrically into in the green patch of Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Compare with Google Earth images below.
The hills side under discussion is viewed in pics below
2003 is when I first raised an alarm about the blasting happening on the hills sides besides Film City Road and adjacent to the Nagari Nivaraa colony. I raised the matter in conversations on Mumbai Naturalists yahoo group hoping to create some traction and pressure group on the same. Post 2003 my involvement with SGNP and its buffer reduced drastically because I got more involved with urban issues besides my involvement with mangroves.
The conversations from December 2003 are there in the images below.
Part 1 – 6 are the emails from Debi Goenka recording conversations with noted biologist and conservationist George Schaller and commentary on an article by Vijay Singh, then in Indian Express.
Part 7-8 is reply by Dr. Satheesan.
Part 9 – 10 is my comments on the issue highlighting the state of affairs of the Goregaon hills and Part 11 is a comment by Dr. Satheesan to my email.
As was not uncommon there was no reply from Debi. I had since April 2002 been deeply critical of his and BEAGs conduct and would remark then that it was easier to get information from the government (in pre-RTI era) but impossible to get information from BEAG.
The pics below show the latest Google Earth images and also pics from 2000 onwards. The amount of damage by blasting and subsequent new constructions is evident.
We still do not have any idea about what is the existing buffer of SGNP and whether we need to take any steps for improving the edges. No discussion either.