Home Tourist attractions Lonavala imposes restrictions on tourists, section 144 on dams and attractions

Lonavala imposes restrictions on tourists, section 144 on dams and attractions


THOUSANDS of tourists from Pune and Mumbai heading to Lonavala’s popular dams, forts and waterfalls for a weekend picnic were turned away on Saturday as the city administration imposed a curfew with a radius 1 km from popular tourist spots to avoid. overcrowding as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision to impose section 144 on these places in the mountain station was announced on Friday. “We have carried out nakabandi operations in at least 8 to 9 locations. Tourists arriving in vehicles from Pune and Mumbai were not allowed to disembark, asked to turn around and return to where they came from, ”said Dilip Pawar, senior police inspector at the Lonavala police station.

Lonavala police are preventing tourists from flocking to scenic spots amid restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Express photo / File)

TS Mujawar, Senior Inspector of Lonavala Rural Police, said: “We had blocked the entry of tourists at least two or three kilometers from popular places, 10-11 entry points. Tourists coming by vehicles from Mumbai, Pune City, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Mulshi were not allowed to get off.

Mujawar said fines were imposed for cases where more than two passengers traveled in the same vehicle, in violation of the standards. “We fined at least 105 vehicles and collected around 70,000 rupees from the violators,” he said.

Pawar, however, said the city police had not fined offenders. “There was a long line of vehicles entering the urban area; we hardly had time to fine them. Many tourists refused to listen and we had to force them back, ”he said.
Municipal and rural police officials said that compared to previous weekends, the rush of tourists was less on Saturday. “There was a 30% drop in the number of tourists, but the rush was still there,” Mujawar said.

On Friday, seeing continued overcrowding at tourist sites over the weekend, Lonavala City Council (LMC) decided to strictly enforce the weekend lockdown in the hill station area. The District Collectorate also ordered the imposition of Article 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), prohibiting the gathering of five or more people within a one-kilometer radius of various roadblocks and tourist points.

“To control the spread of Covid-19 in Lonavala, we have decided to implement a strict lockdown on weekends starting today (Saturday),” LMC CEO Somnath Jadhav told The Indian Express. In addition to Jadhav, LMC President Surekha Jadhav, Deputy Director General Bhagwan Khade, Inspector Pawar and the Shridhar Pujari, Bharat Harpude and Balasaheb Jadhav corporations, as well as Dilip Gupta, President of the Lonavala Traders Association, were present. at the Friday meeting.

“If Lonavala is to avoid becoming a Covid hotspot, we will have to strictly enforce the weekend lockdown,” Jadhav said, adding that except for essential stores, all other stores will remain closed on weekends. “Even on weekdays, the shops will only stay open until 4 pm. Anyone who violates the orders will be prosecuted, ”he said.

The order to impose article 144 only within a radius of one kilometer of tourist sites, meanwhile, caught the attention of local activists. “If people are only prevented from within a one kilometer radius, they will still visit Lonavala and its surroundings. The entire city should have been declared off-limits to tourists, ”said Suresh Pujari, a social activist.

District Collector Rajesh Deshmukh said, “This week we will observe the situation and if tourists are still present in large numbers, we will conduct a review. “
Jadhav said: “Not all people coming to Lonavala can be arrested. The government did not give such orders. Already since this (Saturday) morning, there is hardly any tourist presence in Lonavala. We’re sure the mile radius rule will do the trick. “

Dams such as Bhushi Dam and Pavana Dam as well as various other places in Lonavala are popular among tourists, especially during the monsoon.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here