A city is considered to be blessed if it has forest inside its boundaries. Mumbai is one of the rarest metropolitan city in the world to have
a large number of forests within itself. Sanjay Gandhi National Park
is located in the heart of suburban Mumbai
To the West of the park lie the suburbs of Goregaon, Malad and Borivali. To the East lie the suburbs of Bhandup and Mulund. To the south lies
the Aarey Milk colony . The Northern part of park extends till Thane city. Sanjay Gandhi National Park covers an area of 104 Km2 (40 Sq. Miles)
Today, in this developmental or modernization phase, urban areas are facing excessive rise in population along with the pressure of
unplanned economic development, industrialization and vehicular emissions which in turn has affected air, water, and land quality.
Air pollution has increased rapidly in many cities and metropolises, especially due to vehicular traffic and industrial emissions and
due to insufficient green belt areas in the city, which can aid in absorbing these noxious or toxic gases.
The rising population in Mumbai has led to a decrease in open spaces, but the presence of Sanjay Gandhi National Park(SGNP) has provided many
lucrative Environmental Gains
SGNP is home to over 1,300 species of plants, 172 species of butterflies, over 274 species of birds and 78 species
of reptiles and amphibians.
In addition to this, the Ecology in SGNP covers various types of forests grasslands, moist teak forest, mangroves, mixed deciduous forest and
sub-tropical hill forest. Apart from this, the Tulsi and Vihar lake which provides 10% of potable water to Mumbai City has its catchment area in SGNP.
Importance of SGNP to Mumbai’s Environment
Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ) around SGNP
- It absorbs and filters the high levels of pollution in the area released from the exhaust of vehicles and industries.
- It maintains the ecological balance of the city.
- Tulsi and Vihar lake present in the SGNP are important source of water supply for the city
- It helps to conserve endangered Flora and Fauna.
- It cools the atmosphere and provides fresh air.
- In a city which has turned into a thick concrete jungle, SGNP plays an important role in terms of
“citizen to open spaces ratio” and as an alternative green cover present in the city limits.
- Forests in SGNP also regulates temperature, encourages precipitation of clouds and help to recharge ground water.
Eco Sensitive Zone acts as a transition zone between protected areas and human settlement .An area of 59.46 Sq. Km
around SGNP has been declared as Eco- Sensitive Zone (of which 19.25 Sq. M is forest land and 40.21 Sq. Km is non –forest)
ESZ is considered as a ”Shock Absorber” for protected areas and it also helps to conserve the biodiversity of Protected
Areas from the expanding and uncontrolled human encroachment.