In a bid to reduce air pollution due to the large number of visitors motorised vehicles,the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Borivali has started a cycle rent service to help tourists commute within the park area.The service,which began on October 1,gives visitors the opportunity to park their vehicles at the entrance and rent a cycle to move around the park.
The idea was to bring down the number of motorised vehicles within the park and promote a pollution-free mode of transport. The added benefit is that it is also good for health, said SGNP Director Sunil Limaye.We began with 50 cycles during the wildlife week and got a great response. All the cycles were rented on the very first day. Now,we have 80 cycles as 30 more were added recently, he added.
To avoid errant visitors from wandering into the forest with their cycles,the park authorities are in the process of placing personnel at different points along the route. We have already set up some chowkies to keep vigil. Everything will be in order within a month, Limaye said.
Maintenance work on the bikes will be undertaken once a week by the park personnel themselves who will be trained to handle tire punctures and cycle repairs. The training will begin post Diwali and the maintenance service will be operational by next month.
The initiative has been appreciated by the visitors but the park authorities will wait and watch for a month before adding more cycles. We can go up to 100 cycles as more than that might not be feasible. We will gauge peoples reactions and the problems encountered over a month,and take a decision, said Limaye.
Use of the cycle is restricted to the tourism route and it can be taken up to Kanheri Caves. A cycle can be rented for Rs 10 per hour per person by providing a photo identification at the entrance. The cycles have been provided free of cost to the park by private companies in the personal mobility business.
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