THE MONSOON EFFECT – Cops to control crowds at popular tourist spots

Weekend jaunts may fall flat soon, as police and civic bodies -with an eye on the rain -plan to get strict at destinations like Bhushi, Mahabaleshwar, Mulshi, Tamhini and more
While the suddenly pro lific monsoon that has graced Pune and its out skirts may be disrupting the daily routines of many, it appears that it will soon be causing a rearrangement of holidays, too. Many may be thankful that water cuts are soon to be suspended and ground water stores are rejuvenating, but tourists heading to popular monsoon destinations could be slightly disgruntled, with police hatching a plan to restrict visitors’ numbers in anticipation of huge crowding.Banning vehicular entry, restricting tourist numbers and preventing people from taking irresponsible selfies at dangerous spots are some steps that will be taken by cops in coming weeks -especially considering the long weekend coming next week that usually sees hordes leave the city.

Some popular destinations drawn out for extra attention include Bhushi Dam, Mulshi Dam, Tamhini Ghat, Malshej Ghat, etc. -several mishaps have already taken place at these spots in the past, prompting the police and civic administration work jointly on a plan to prevent a repetition.

Even at Mahabaleshwar, the civic administration has closed off entry to visitors at certain points. Ramesh Shendage, tehsildar of Mahabaleshwar, said, “The area has been witnessing heavy rain for a few days. The road connecting Mahabaleshwar and Poladpur has also been shut as a precautionary measure. Following the bridge collapse at Mahad, we have decided to take some precautions and as part of these measures, we are restricting entry to tourists at places like Arthur’s Seat Point and Kate’s Point, where it is quite unsafe and slippery when it is raining heavily.“

Similarly, Bhushi Dam in Lonavala will see police presence. In fact, as recently as last month, a chaotic situation had arisen at the spot when a huge crowd had gathered. Learning from this, Lonavala police have also restricted entry into Lonavala city for tourists and vehicles. Inspector in charge of Lonavala City police station, C Jadhav, said, “Last month, there was a huge turn-out and stampede-like situation at this location. So, we have decided to ban entry for all outside vehicles from 2 pm onwards. We will also ban entry for heavy vehicles throughout the day on weekends, including private buses. Tourists coming to Lonavala will have to park buses near the bridge at Khandala exit point and walk to Bhushi.“

Additionally, rural police will be deploying additional manpower at some well-frequented destinations in Pune district for crowd control. A senior police official from Pune rural police said, “Some over-enthusiastic tourists go to dangerous spots just to take selfies, and we will be keeping an eye out for them. We are not against photography -but, we cannot stand by if it puts someone’s life in danger.“

Source : Mirror