The picturesque hill station of Lonavala is set for a facelift with an action plan being drawn with the help of district administration, the municipal council as well as local restaurants and tourism officials.
Signages at all locations, traffic islands, tourist information guides and development of the Valvan lake are part of the plan, which has been agreed upon by the local hoteliers association, the nagar parishad as well the district administration.
“We have had a meeting on August 18. We will follow it up with another meeting to develop the hill station. The tourist destination needs development of basic infrastructure, which includes roads, traffic, signages and a proper tourist guide,” district collector Saurabh Rao said.
Special measures to prevent tourists from venturing into floodline areas of Bhushi dam are also being planned in consultations with railway authorities and the irrigation department. There have been a number of accidents during the tourist season at the Bhushi dam.
To ease traffic congestion, two roads have been proposed to reach the highway directly instead of going through the city areas. While one road is awaiting forest clearance, another is awaiting clearance from INS Shivaji. “We are positive these road proposals will be cleared, which will help ease congestion in the hill station,” Rao said.
Development of Valvan lake under the national lake conservation project has also been proposed.
While the district administration is seeking funds from the state government for the long-term development of Lonavala, the association of local hoteliers have also decided to contribute money to develop traffic islands and put up signboards as part of short-term measures.
Besides Lonavala, the district administration is already developing Bhimashankar, another popular tourist attraction, at a cost of Rs 32 crore, of which Rs 22 crore has already been utilised for the area.