A group of 22 trekkers lost their way while returning from the Harishchandragad Ghats in Murbad district. Thane collector Rajesh Narvekar said all of them had been traced and were safe. Rescuers will help them come down in the morning.
According to Narvekar, the group, including five women, were on their way back from Harishchandragad when they lost their way. “Except two or three, all of them are seasoned trekkers from Kalyan and nearby regions. Dr Hitesh Adwani, one of the group members, raised alarm in the evening and we responded immediately,” he said.
The group had spent a night in Harishchandragad and were returning when they got lost 800 feet below Kokankada. “They are all on plane ground, have water, food, woollens and sleeping gear, they said. They had lit campfires, which was spotted by the ground team of locals, police and other civic authorities,” Narvekar said.
National Disaster Response Force was also contacted, but they haven’t sent a team. Deputy Commandant Sachidanand Gawade said, “We spoke to the trekkers as they are all safe and have been traced. They just need a vehicle and hence we didn’t send a team. However, we are in constant touch with them and if needed a team will be deployed.”
According to the Murbad police, the trekkers left their vehicle on the other side of Harishchandragad and thus are stuck. “We will help them find their way to the ground in the morning. We are standing by at a spot from where their campfire is visible,” a police officer said. The locals have also been asked to stay alert through the night and help the police in the morning to rescue the trekkers, sources said.
Dr Hitesh Adwani, from Kalyan, raised alarm at around 6.30 pm about the group losing their way in the hilly and heavily forested area, police said.
Parkar Prakash, one of the members of the group, spoke to The Indian Express, stating that all of them were safe.
“We are all safe and rappled our way down. Some team members panicked and raised an alarm. However, we are all fine. We will come down in the morning,” he said.