Environmentalists complain that Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary Ashram is building illegal extensions

Nearly a year after parts of Sadanand Baba Ashram, located inside Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in Thane, were razed on Supreme Court directives, environmentalists have complained that illegal extensions are still underway in the region.

“I visited Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary on 26th June and was shocked to find that the road from Parol to the ashram is still being used by vehicles to transport devotees. The ashram administrators have also built two sheds in the ashram premises after demolition,” conservation action trust conservationist Debi Goenka told The Indian Express.

The Tungareshwar shrine 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 the court stating that the encroachment of the ashram was a threat to wildlife in the sanctuary. The Supreme Court then called for the razing of parts of the ashram.

When contacted, SGNP Director G Mallikarjun said, “Our officials including the Divisional Forest Officer, Deputy Forest Conservator and Range Forest Officer will visit the sanctuary site of fauna of Tungareshwar. If ever an encroachment occurred, it would be demolished.

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