Dahisar river water enters park office as Tulsi lake dam breaches level.
The Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) remained closed for tourists on Wednesday after the Dahisar river water levels started rising.
On Tuesday, the river water entered the office of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and some staff quarters.
The overflow level of the lower dam of Tulsi lake is 139.17 metres, and at 6 am on Wednesday, the level was 139.51 metres. There were fears that Tulsi lake would overflow from the upper dam and the water could come into the Dahisar river causing severe floods in SGNP, Borivali and Dahisar areas.
Tulsi lake, which is inside the core zone of the SGNP, had overflowed from the upper dam on July 26, 2005 and August 29, 2017, causing swelling of SGNP office and surrounding areas.
On Wednesday too, the water had entered the deer enclosure, but the animals moved to safety at higher level in the enclosure. There are more than 40 deer in the enclosure.
The field director of SGNP, Anwar Ahmed, said that the park was closed for tourists as a precautionary measure so that enough staff was available for ‘mitigation measures’.
After the floods devastated SGNP office last month, all files were covered with mud and computers damaged.
The SGNP has several court cases and the data is of utmost importance.
Ahmed said that at least ten per cent of the data can’t be restored. “We are trying to use blowers, fans and halogen lamps to dry our files. Nature has been unkind to us and it is pouring continuously,’’ he said.
He said that experts were trying to retrieve data from the computers.
Environmentalist Debi Goenka said that there was a fund of Rs 82 lakh sanctioned by the state finance department to SGNP to reconstruct the office and increase its height. This sanction for funds was done during the tenure of SGNP director PN Munde, but after he left, the proposal was cancelled and the money returned. The SGNP has lost vitals in the floods last month. I have written to the state forest secretary Vikas Kharge and forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar that the officer who returned the funds must be prosecuted.’’