HEAVY rainfall across western Maharashtra and subsequent landslides near some tourist destinations prompted the authorities to put restrictions on access to popular spots. Vehicle entry has been restricted to places such as Sinhagad Fort and Lonavala in Pune, and Malshej Ghat on Kalyan-Ahmednagar Road and Mahabaleshwar in Satara district.
On Saturday, landslide was reported from two different spots on the way to Sinhagad, which resulted in traffic snarls between Sinhagad Fort and Pune city. On Sunday, the forest department authorities restricted the number of vehicles going up to the fort. “On Sunday, we allowed only a certain number of vehicles near the fort. The next batch of vehicles was allowed only when the earlier lot returned. We ensured that only a manageable number of vehicles were near fort. We have also identified some of the vulnerable spots where we completely prohibited parking,” said an official from the forest department.
According to the Lonavala police, “Due to heavy rainfall on Saturday, we had to shut down the access to the area as the flow of water increased. But from Sunday morning, we again allowed tourists. From 3 pm, we stopped entry of cars into the area near the dam. However, traffic congestions were still reported from Bhushi as it was a weekend.”
Landslide was reported on Sunday near Kelghar village, on the way from Satara town to Mahabaleshwar. Mahabaleshwar police said, “Landslide was reported around 4 pm on Sunday, due to which traffic had to be stopped from both the directions. Work to remove the boulders was on till late in the evening.” Vehicle entry passing through another tourist destination, Malshej Ghat on Kalyan-Ahmednagar, was also blocked on Saturday and Sunday after a landslide. An officer from Tokawade police station said the decision on resuming the traffic will be taken on Monday, after reviewing the ground situation.