Police begin a crackdown on tourists, trekkers in Lonavla, Mulshi, Velhe

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Mubarak Ansari

Pune, June 23, 2020: After the Pune district administration prohibited visit to dam areas in the rainy season due to the Coronavirus epidemic, they have now begun the crackdown on people visiting these places. Last weekend action was taken against tourists and trekkers in Lonavala, Mulshi and Velhe taluka. 

Lonavala: Police have taken action against 22 bikers at tourist spots in Lonavala and Khandala. Maval taluka receives the highest rainfall. In Lonavla and Khandala, a large number of citizens come during the rainy season for sightseeing. When it starts raining, especially on Saturdays and Sundays, there is a big crowd at the tourist places including Bhushi Dam, Lions Point, Rajmachi Point etc. Earlier, due to the crowds of citizens in the dam area and other areas, accidents have taken place due to drowning.

Incidents of alcoholism and hooliganism have also occurred on a large scale. At present, the district collector has banned tourists from visiting all the tourist spots in Lonavala and Khandala to prevent the spread of corona. Currently, lockdowns are slowly being lifted. However, despite the ban, there is a rush of tourists. As a result, the headaches of municipal and police administration are increasing. 

Despite the ban, 22 bikers from Mumbai, Pune who had come to Sahara Bridge, Bhushi Dam were raided by Lonavla city police on Sunday. Now cases have been registered against them.

Mulshi: Paud police station officials registered an FIR against five trekkers on Sunday. A police team had found bikes parked near Mulshi dam. Later they followed footsteps and reached the youths who had climbed a nearby hill. They were taken to the police station and a case was filed against them for offences under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other sections of the Maharashtra Police Act. Police have put up banners in several areas including Tamhini road asking people not to visit dam and hill areas in Mulshi taluka.

Velhe: Velhe taluka has Torna and Rajgad forts, while Narveer Tanaji Malusare ghat (old name Madhe ghat) has three dams namely Gunjavani, Panshet and Varasgaon. Therefore, thousands of tourists come to Velhe taluka during monsoon season. During the rainy season, there were many small and big accidents in this place. Young people get drunk and riotous. The result is an increase in crime.

If you go to Velhe taluka for tourism, you have to pay a fine and police will register cases. Police have collected about Rs 20,000 fine in the last two days. The tourists are being stopped at the check post at Karanjawane after entering the taluka. Every vehicle is being thoroughly checked. They are being fined for not having the documents of the tourist vehicles, driver’s license, black films on the glass of the four-wheeler and triple seat etc. So, people paid fine and returned. Police said that FIRs will be registered against tourists found in the prohibited areas.

Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram has issued an order to ban entry to various spots due to COVID epidemic this year.