Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Maha Minister urges extreme caution during rain tourism, Cong slams govt for Lonavala tragedy


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Mumbai/Pune (Maharashtra), July 1: A day after five persons including a woman and four kids were washed away in a waterfall at the Lonavala hill station, Maharashtra Minister for Relief & Rehabilitation Anil Patil called upon the people to be extremely cautious while going out on monsoon picnics to major tourism spots, here on Monday.

The Minister’s warning came even though rescue agencies were engaged in a major operation to trace the bodies of two minor boys – among the five victims who were suddenly washed away while frolicking in a waterfall upstream of the Bhushi Dam – a popular tourist attraction during monsoon.

Patil said that people in their thrill for adventure enter the waters without realising the possible danger lurking there and such tragedies occur. On Sunday afternoon, around 18 persons from the Khan and Ansari families of Syed Nagar in Hadapsar who had gone for a picnic to Lonavali, had unknowingly ventured into the cool waterfalls gushing in an isolated jungle area upstream of the Bhushi Dam.

At least 10 persons of the two families were swept away due to a sudden increase in the water owing to heavy rains lashing the regions for the past three days. While five persons were saved with ropes, the other five perished, of which the bodies of three victims have been recovered so far.

Patil said that the state Chief Secretary will contact the Collectors in all the districts in the state to take suitable measures to prevent such incidents and if needed, ban entry to such accident-prone spots. Raising the matter in the Legislature, state Congress President Nana F. Patole slammed the government for not taking adequate steps to prevent such tragedies and improve the facilities at such tourism locations.

“There have been many similar incidents in the past yet the government ignores them. What measures the government has taken to avoid such recurrences, except making promises,” demanded Patole.

Last night, the Lonavala Police and town authorities issued an appeal to the hordes of tourists, thronging there to enjoy the dam waters not to risk their lives by venturing into uncharted areas. The authorities especially cautioned against the Bhushi Dam backwaters and upstream, the Ghubad Lake, Tata Dam, Rajmachi Point, Khandala, Kunegaon, Kurwande, Tungarli Dam and other potentially dangerous spots that attract large numbers of tourists, especially on weekends.



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