The Maharashtra government on Wednesday approved the creation of 18 new reserve forests in the state besides seven proposed reserve forest areas, an official release said here. It will take the number of protected sanctuaries in the state to 52.
The decision, taken at a state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, would enhance the reserved forest cover in the state to 13,000 sq km. Shinde also directed officials to ensure that villagers in the areas around reserved forests do not face problems while the wildlife is conserved.
The new reserve forests are: Velhe Mulshi (87.41 sq km) in Pune and Raigad districts, Lonavla (121.20 sq km), Naneghat (98.87 sq km) in Pune-Thane districts, Bhorgirigad (37.64 sq km) in Pune, Dindori (62.10 sq km), Surgana (86.28 sq km) and Taharabad (122.45 sq km) in Nashik district, Kareghat (97.45 sq km) and Chinchpada (93.91 sq km) in Nandurbar, Ghera Manikgad (53.25 sq km) and Alibaug (60.03 sq km) in Raigad district, Rajmachi, Gumtara (125.50 sq km) in Thane, Jawhar (118.28 sq km), Dhamni (49.15 sq km), Asherigad (80.95 sq km) in Palghar, Atpadi (9.48 sq km) in Sangli and Ekara (102.99 sq km) in Chandrapur district, it said. In another decision, the state cabinet decided to form an asset reconstruction company on the lines of the Centre.
It also decided that the Bharatratna Lata Dinanath Mangeshkar International Music College will be started from the Pu La Deshpande Academy here for the time being