A decision on closing the Pandavkada waterfall in Kharghar during the monsoon will be taken by the Forest department on Monday.
The waterfall is popular among trekkers during the monsoon. Several cases of drowning have also been reported there in the past.
During the weekend, the waterfall witnesses huge footfalls. Keeping this in mind, earlier the Forest department had banned entry to the waterfall for three months. However, there was resentment among trekkers.
There are a number of waterfalls in Kharghar Hill. Some of them are at Pandavkada, Chafewadi, Fanaswadi, Driving Range, Ghamole village and Owe camp area. “These become a major hotspot for tourists during monsoon. However, there were incidents when people got injured by heavy boulders and died. Four girls, including three college students, were washed away by the strong current while they were trying to cross the waterfalls in August 2019. Several other similar accidents have also been reported here,” said an official from the Forest department.
A range forest officer (RFO) from Panvel said, “Pandavkada waterfall does not have proper infrastructure. So people have to climb the hillocks and cross the stream to reach the main area. All the streams, however, overflow during monsoon. This leads to accidents while crossing them.” He added that a decision will be taken at a meeting on Monday.