Maharashtra: Municipal Councils propose ban on private vehicles in Mahabaleshwar, Panchgan

From now on, tourists will only be able to use electric vehicles to experience the area's natural beauty. The proposal has been prepared by both the municipalities

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, June 26, 2022, 12:13 PM IST
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Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra |

The Municipal Councils of Mahabaleshwar and Panchgan have proposed a ban on private vehicles used by tourists to partake in safaris, on account of them causing traffic jams, as well as a great deal of pollution in the pristine sanctuaries.

From now on, tourists will only be able to use electric vehicles to experience the area's natural beauty. The proposal has been prepared by both the municipalities.

The proposal has been prepared with the help of local taxi owners’ association and has reached the Maharashtra Tourism department. A decision is expected soon. Mahabaleshwar Taxi Union president Yashwant Bhilare has also endorsed the proposal.

Mahabaleshwar is a hill station located in the Western Ghats, in Satara district of Maharashtra.

Apart from its strawberries, Mahabaleshwar is also well known for its numerous rivers, magnificent cascades and majestic peaks. It is among the most sought after weekend getaways from Pune & Mumbai, located about 120km south-west of Pune and 285km from Mumbai.

Mahabaleshwar is also a sacred pilgrimage place for Hindus as the Krishna river originates from here.

Once a summer capital of the British, the hill station of Mahabaleshwar comprises of ancient temples, boarding schools, manicured and lush green dense forest, waterfalls, hills, valleys. It is often used as a base to visit the magnificent Pratapgad Fort, located an hour away.

Malcolm Peth, Old Kshetra Mahabaleshwar and a region of the Shindola village are the three villages that make up Mahabaleshwar.

More than twenty lakh tourists visit Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani every year, causing a significant increase in the level of pollution.

Mahabaleshwar municipal council’s chief executive officer Pallavi Bhore Patil told Punekar News, “Tourists visiting Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani should hire a local electric taxi. Tourist electric cars and two-wheelers can travel here. Only electric taxis will go to all the points. The government should take initiative to convert local taxis into electric taxis. For this, the government should appeal to the companies manufacturing electric vehicles.

Mahabaleshwar municipal council and the state government will provide subsidies to the existing taxi owners who are running on fuel. Therefore, electric vehicles will be made available to taxi drivers at a lower cost, while vehicles with a lifespan of fewer than seven years will be converted into electric vehicles.”

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