Love for selfie pushes many too close to risk near dam

Police Plug Khadakwasla Access Holes
Obsessed with capturing that perfect pout, revellers are precariously balancing themselves near the sluice gates of Khadakwasla for selfies even as water gushes out of the dam.An Instagram or Facebook search on `#khadakwasla’ or `#khadakwasladam’ and thumbnail of photo pop-ups shows the risks people are willing to take for just a selfie at the dam.

Young parents could be seen with toddlers standing in the water, which could endanger their lives considering the force with which the water flows. Teenagers are also spotted striking poses as they stand in the water, turning a deaf ear to the sirens warning the revellers about the opening of sluice gates.

“People are aware that it is dangerous to venture into the water when the sluice gates are open and water is being released. Yet, they choose to ignore the safety norms just to get a perfect picture. We have been trying to do our level best to inform people about the danger associated with such behaviours,“ said Pandurang Shelar, executive engineer of the Khadakwasla irrigation division.

He added that around 10 police personnel are deployed to warn people about the danger and keep a check on the crowd.Sounding sirens to warn revellers to get out of water is never enough; the police person nel have to man the area and drive them out sometime.

Tejaswini Satpute, additional superintendent of police (Pune rural), told TOI that there were 18 spots around the Khadakswasla from where the revellers get access to the dam and its backwaters.

“We have closed all these points to prevent the revellers from going near the dam or its backwaters,“ the officer said.

She added that despite the restrictions, many people argue with police, jump over the barricades and risk their lives by going near the water. “On weekends, we have to deploy more force to control the rush,“ Satpute said.

The irrigation department is now planning to put up more boards warning people about the danger. They already have four-five boards in place.

“It is not possible for us to warn every person going into the water. We hope that these boards will at least make them conscious of the danger. Yet people fail to learn a lesson,“ Shelar said.

TIMES VIEW:

There is an urgent need to control the obsession of taking selfies at the cost of risking life. It was appalling to see a couple and their child standing outside the Khadakwasla dam gates from where water was being released.Several deaths have been reported when people were trying to take selfies in lakes, dams and at cliffs. Yet most revellers are refusing to learn a lesson. While blocking entry at such places and deploying police are a way to check the craze, one cannot post police everywhere. Ultimately, it is the people who have to exercise caution, be prudent and behave in a responsible manner.

Source : TOI

 

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