Funds sanctioned but no security wall for Pandavkada waterfalls yet
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