After 2 deaths in Lonavla, Thane bans trekking at Mahuli, Tansa and Bhatsa till Sept
Over 90 people have lost their lives so far by slipping from the Mahuli waterfall, said authoritiesmumbai Updated: Jul 23, 2017 01:52 IST
Following the recent deaths of two trekkers at a waterfall near Mahuli Fort and increasing water levels at Bhatsa Dam, the Thane district collector on Saturday stopped trekkers from visiting Mahuli Fort, Tansa and Bhatsa areas until September or further notice.
The Bhatsa Dam authority has also issued a warning to the villages in Kalyan, Shahpur and Bhiwandi Talukas to remain alert in case of water being released from the dam if the heavy rain persists.
S Sonawane, executive engineer of Bhatsa dam management department, in a letter addressed to the Tehsildar office of Shahpur, Bhiwandi and Kalyan said, “The water level in Bhatsa Dam has reached 134.73m on Friday morning and the levels are increasing rapidly owing to the continuous heavy rain in the area. To maintain the dam water level, we will have to open the floodgates anytime in the next few days. Thus, a warning must be issued to those villages, which will be affected by the floods.”
The dam authority has issued warnings, especially to Sapgaon along the Bhatsa river in Shahpur, to ban the villagers from going anywhere near the river.
The Shahpur Tehsildar office also requested the district authority to ban trekkers and revellers from Mahuli Fort, Ashok Fort, and around 500m from Bhatsa and Tansa Dam till September 2017 or till further notice.
Santosh Thite, sub-divisional magistrate from Bhiwandi sub-division office said, “Owing to heavy rains, the area around the Mahuli waterfall has become slippery. More than 90 people have lost their lives by losing their balance on this waterfall. During the weekend, revelers come to the waterfall in large numbers. Most of them do not know how to swim. However, with the MET department issuing a heavy rain warning this weekend, we have decided to close the area for trekkers.”
Picnickers are also banned anywhere near Tansa and Bhatsa Dam during the same time to prevent mishaps. The magistrate in his orders has issued certain guidelines to be followed during the time of the ban. According to guidelines, people will not be allowed to sit below the waterfall, enter the water and take their vehicles within 500m of the above points. Taking selfies, photos or videos, drinking alcohol is also banned.