‘Unregulated tourism destroying biodiversity’

ST Correspondent
Monday, 25 June 2018

The rise in the number of tourists, bikers in the last few years has led to the local police and Forest Department officials putting restrictions. On July 10, a 23-year-old Army Lieutenant Akhil Choudhary drowned at Devkund waterfall near Tamhini Ghat. 

Pune: Officials of the Forest Department have warned of stern action against tourists involved in activities threatening the flora and fauna of Tamhini Ghat. 

The ghat has been declared a sanctuary and is an eco-sensitive zone. However, the rise in the number of tourist and bikers in the last few years has led to the local police and Forest Department officials putting restrictions. On July 10, a 23-year-old Army Lieutenant Akhil Choudhary drowned at Devkund waterfall near Tamhini Ghat. 

Speaking on the issue Vivek Khandekar, Chief Conservator of Forests, Pune Circle said Tamhini is unique for its vegetation and is representative of Western Ghat ecosystem. “However, recently unregulated tourism is destroying its biodiversity. 

“We will be taking criminal action against tourists involved in unwanted activities,” added Khandekar. 

The Paud police have been taking regular action against people driving under the influence of alcohol. “We have installed check posts at various places to avoid incidents of drowning, eve-teasing and ruckus. Tourists should not litter or throw liquor bottles in the area. 

Many bikers visit the area on weekends and they should understand that it is an eco-sensitive area,” said an official from Paud police station.  The ghat is home to 28 species of mammals, 150 species of birds and some rare flora.
 

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