Thane: One person died and over 100 people were stranded at Chinchoti waterfall, Vasai, near Mumbai last week, amid heavy rain and a multi-agency rescue operation had to be launched to rescue them. To avoid a repeat of such incidents, Thane district collector Dr Mahendra Kalyankar issued a notification under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, on Wednesday, with guidelines for picnickers visiting Thane’s numerous tourist attractions this season. The regulations will be in place until July 31.
The waterfalls at Yeoor, Thane’s lakes, Kalwa Mumbra Retibunder, waterfalls on the Mumbra bypass, Gaimukh Retibunder, Uttan beach in Thane taluka, Khadavli and Titwala river, Subhedarwada, Kalyan’s Kamba Pavshepada, Ganesh Ghat beach, Siddhagadh, Sonala, Padale Dam in Kalyan taluka, the waterfalls at Malshej, Palu, Khopvali, Naneghat, Dhasai Dam, Mahuli Fort in Murbad taluka are popular monsoon haunts. But these places can be risky and therefore, there are restrictions this year.
“We have restricted entry to one kilometre from the picnic spot, so that tourists do not endanger or lose their lives,” said Dr Kalyankar.
Those found in violation of these rules will be booked by the local police under Section 144 of the criminal penal code. “The prohibition may be extended later under extreme weather conditions,” Dr Kalyankar said.
While many have welcomed these restrictions, some are upset as they have made plans to party at their favourite monsoon getaways. “We already had plans for this weekend as every year we go for a picnic in the rains. With the restrictions in place, we cannot enter the waterfalls,” said Chetan Gurav, employee of a private company in Thane.