Po­lice, of­fi­cials keep vis­i­tors out of Pan­davkada water­falls

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The num­ber of rev­ellers vis­it­ing Pan­davkada water­falls has dwin­dled no­tice­ably in the past few days, thanks to pres­ence of po­lice and for­est of­fi­cials at the en­try points.

In view of sev­eral un­to­ward in­ci­dents in the pre­vi­ous years, the for­est depart­ment had im­posed a ban to the en­try of the wa­ter­fall. In spite of that score of rev­ellers from across Navi Mum­bai and other pe­riph­eral area were go­ing to there to en­joy a pic­nic.

“Since the safety mea­sures for the rev­ellers are not ad­e­quate at the wa­ter­fall, we im­posed the ban to the en­try as a pre­ven­tive mea­sure,” said Shivaji Thakare, range for­est of­fi­cer, Pan­vel.

“But, peo­ple were com­ing in large num­bers to the wa­ter­fall spe­cially dur­ing the week­ends. To prevent this, we have de­ployed of­fi­cials to stop peo­ple at en­try points,” said Thakare.

The po­lice of­fi­cials de­ployed at the en­try points along the main road were spot­ted stop­ping peo­ple on Thurs­day and Fri­day.

Thakare said, “The area of the wa­ter­fall is huge and there are sev­eral routes to reach the A po­lice­man keeps watch on one of the en­try points at Pan­davkada water­falls in Kharghar.

spot. Some peo­ple are still man­ag­ing to reach the site even af­ter this. How­ever, we have left no stone un­turned to keep area de­serted for the safety of the peo­ple.”

Ear­lier in 2005, the for­est depart­ment had im­posed a ban on the wa­ter­fall af­ter four stu­dents drowned. How­ever, the ban was lifted later.

Ac­cord­ing to sources in the po­lice depart­ment, as many as 12 stu­dents drowned in the wa­ter­fall in 2011; the num­ber re­duced to five in 2013.

A se­nior for­est of­fi­cer said, “We had to im­pose the ban at this pop­u­lar tourist be­cause the PWD did not take ef­forts to make the area safer for the rev­ellers. We hope they will take the req­ui­site steps just af­ter the mon­soon so that we can open it for pub­lic next year.”

A lo­cal court has sen­tenced a man to 10 years’ rig­or­ous im­pris­on­ment and his mother to seven years in an abet­ment of sui­cide case.

Dis­trict Judge Mridula Bha­tia con­victed Neeraj Me­hta, 35, and his mother Su­nita Me­hta, 64, un­der IPC sec­tion 306 (abet­ment of sui­cide) to 10 and seven years jail term re­spec­tively. The duo was also awarded three years rig­or­ous im­pris­on­ment un­der IPC Sec­tion 498-A (do­mes­tic vi­o­lence). Both the sen­tences will run con­cur­rently. Neeraj was mar­ried to Neha in 2009 and had two chil­dren. He worked as area man­ager with a pizza out­let.

Ac­cord­ing to pros­e­cu­tion, the woman’s in-laws ha­rassed and tor­tured her as a re­sult of which she com­mit­ted sui­cide on Septem­ber 28, 2014, by hang­ing her­self at their house in Nerul.

The judge noted, “The prose­cu­tor has sub­mit­ted that the death was ad­mit­tedly un­nat­u­ral and not ac­ci­den­tal. The con­duct of the ac­cused throws grave sus­pi­cion. The ac­cused did not im­me­di­ately rush the de­ceased to the hos­pi­tal nor did he call an am­bu­lance.”

“The ac­cused be­ing ed­u­cated, should have on his own rushed her to the hos­pi­tal and should have not wasted time,” the judge ob­served.

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