PUNE: In order to stop the nuisance that people create to celebrate the New Year on historical forts, the trekking clubs and the Forest Department of the Pune Municipal Corporation have jointly decided to volunteer and stop people from going to forts in and around Pune so that their heritage is maintained and no damage is done to the flora and fauna.
Forest officials revealed that more than 1,000 people celebrate the New Year at forts every year and inevitably disturb locals by playing loud music. They end up littering the place with plastic packets and empty cold drink and alcohol bottles.
This year, some members of trekking and adventure clubs have volunteered to help the police and Forest Department officials to prevent revellers from going to the fort on December 31.
Ranganath Naikade, Deputy Conservator of Forest, Pune Division, said, “There were many incidents earlier in which people drink alcohol and end up in ugly brawls. Some burn firecrackers which disturbs the animals and birds around the forts. Also, the local people face many issues as people play loud music and talk in abusive language.”
Naikade added, “The local police are also going to help us in this process.” Sunil Gaikwad, a mountaineer and Secretary of Shivdurga Mitra, Lonavla, said, “The number of people visiting forts on New Year’s Eve is going down since last two years. We are going to stand at the entrance of the fort to prevent people from going there.”
Umesh Zirpe from mountaineering club Giripremi said they have informed Vilas Wahane, Assistant Director at the State Archaeology Department in Pune, about their plans.
VOLUNTEERS TO GUARD FORTS
The prominent forts that are frequented by party revellers are Harishchandragad, Lohagad, Visapur, Rajgad, Sinhagad, Rajmachi, Tikona and Tung. Every fort will have at least 10-15 volunteers from adventure and trekking clubs including Shivdurga Mitra Lonavla, Sinhagad Pratishthan, Giripremi and Mahad Sahaydri Trekkers to stop people going to the fort.