Funds sanc­tioned but no se­cu­rity wall for Pan­davkada wa­ter­falls yet

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NEWS - Tas­neem Kausar ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

KHARGHAR: To save the lives of tourists who flock to Pan­davkada falls in Kharghar in the mon­soon, the for­est depart­ment had pro­cured Rs1.34 cr from Cidco and trans­ferred it to the pub­lic works depart­ment ( PWD) for con­struc­tion of a se­cu­rity wall in the area.

How­ever, de­spite pas­sage of al­most a year, PWD has not ini­ti­ated the work.

As rains hit the re­gion, large num­ber of peo­ple, not just from Navi Mum­bai but also the sur­round­ing ar­eas ar­rive at the nat­u­ral Pan­davkada falls.

There have been sev­eral in­ci­dents of ac­ci­dents lead­ing to loss of lives as the rev­el­ers take risks and are taken away by the strong cur­rents.

The forst depart­ment has for the past two years formed a com­mit­tee of for­est guards and lo­cal trib­als to pre­vent ac­cess to the falls. How­ever, since it is open from all sides, it is dif­fi­cult to keep track of ar­eas from where the tourists come. Sev­eral avoid the reg­u­lar road route and come through the moun­tain area and bathe in the streams that flow.

Of­ten due to the rev­elry and also be­cause some are drunk, peo­ple do not re­alise how strong the cur­rents are. Sev­eral do not even know how to swim.

Over 25 peo­ple have died in the past 10 to 15 years.

It was to pre­vent such in­ci­dents, that the for­est depart­ment pre­pared a pro­posal to erect a U shaped 6 feet bound­ary wall around the falls. The funds for the same were trans­ferred by Cidco to PWD.

Pan­vel for­est area of­fi­cer Shivaji Thakre said, “The area has been em­banked to al­low tourists to play in the wa­ter. There are also rooms for chang­ing for men and women.”

He added, “To pre­vent tourists from en­ter­ing through hid­den routes, we pro­posed the se­cu­rity wall last year and handed over the req­ui­site funds to PWD.”

He said, “No ac­tion has been taken as yet. If the wall work is com­pleted by mon­soon it will en­sure that the tourists come to the fall only through one route. We will check them and then al­low en­try. It will en­sure that there are no ac­ci­dents.”

Deputy en­gi­neer of PWD Pan­vel, CM San­hal said, “We will be call­ing for ten­ders in the next two weeks. We will try and com­plete as much work as pos­si­ble by the mon­soon.”

If the wall work is com­pleted by mon­soon it will en­sure that the tourists come to the fall only through one route. We will check them and then al­low en­try. It will en­sure that there are no ac­ci­dents.

SHIVAJI THAKRE, Pan­vel for­est of­fi­cer

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