Following a rise in incidents in which amateur and untrained trekkers,especially youths,lose their lives during trekking,city-based trekking club Giridarshan is setting up a special squad for rescue activities. The squad will also extend help to locate bodies of those who meet a tragic end while climbing forts.
The club took the decision after the recent search operation for the bodies of two youngsters at Torna fort in Velhe taluka of Pune district. In the first week of February,two software engineers from the city Shaurya Vardhan Garg,26,and Sagar Munjal Sanghvi,25 had lost their lives during their trek to Torna fort,located about 45 km from the city. Since the duo had not informed anybody about their trip,they were initially supposed to have gone missing.
Police and local villagers did an initial search near the fort. Finally,Giridarshan members were roped in for the search operation at the base of the fort and they found the bodies after two days of extensive search. The bodies were recovered from a gorge,at a depth of about 1,100 feet from the Zunzar machi area of the Torna fort.
Till a few years ago,the number of people going for trekking independently was quite small. But recently this has gone up and as a result,the number of accidents has also gone up. Some of the factors responsible for such accidents are overconfidence,consumption of alcohol and lack of adequate knowledge about the region, said Satish Marathe,founder of Giridarshan.
The search operation at Torna fort posed much difficulties for all those who participated. We are now launching a full-fledged, 40-member squad dedicated to such operations. Between them,the squad members will possess different skill sets like rock-climbing,rappelling,providing emergency medical services,coordinating on walkie-talkies,swimming all necessary for such operations. We are likely to be ready by April; the police and fire brigade can contact us when they get rescue calls.
Assistant police inspector R B Unde of Velha police said,the professional trekkers were helpful during the search operation at the Torna fort and since they have expertise in the forts,they can easily climb up and down the fort. If such a special squad comes into operation,it will make the work of police and other government machineries easier.