Pune: The safety of tourists has become a cause of concern for police, locals, politicians and other stake holders in view of the rising number of deaths at tourist spots. Citing safety concerns, officials of Lonavla police have decided to close all picnic spots by 5 pm and no one will be allowed to enter tourist spots like Bhushi dam, Tiger Point, Lion Point, etc.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Surekha Jadhav, President of Lonavla Municipal Council, said that safety of tourists is a burning issue as it is affecting tourism and local business. “The authorities are not taking responsibility which is leading to business losses. We need to bring all stake holders on the same page so that tourism and safety of tourists is ensured. If police close entry of tourists, it is good for safety of tourists, but bad for local businesses,” added Jadhav. She said that she is discussing the issue with other senior leaders and there is need to deploy more lifeguards and wardens near tourist spots so that there is a growth in tourism.
Speaking on the issue, Senior Police Inspector Chandrakant Jadhav said that safety of tourists takes priority and hence, the decision to shut down entry to tourist spots. Locals said that business is getting affected as there is a lack of management at tourist spots.
Similarly, after two youths had drowned in Khadakwasla dam in April, official of Haveli police station had started installing fences in the area to prevent people from entering the water. They said that the civic body and other authorities should also help police in making the area safer.
A senior officer from the Forest Department said the Forest Department has installed warning boards at various points and has also placed fences for safety of tourists.
“We need to understand that the number of tourists visiting popular spots is huge and there is not enough manpower to look after safety of these spots and some tourists break safety norms, which leads to fatal accidents,” he added the official.