The BJP-led Maharashtra government has directed the district administration to chalk out a definite development plan for beautification of the historic Sinhgad (the Lion’s fort) fort before embarking on any other project in the area.
Earlier efforts falling flat was attributed to lack of coordination between various departments. Pune Guardian minister Girish Bapat has asked government officials of various departments concerned to prepare a detailed project report for the beautification.
“The focus would also be on ensuring safety of tourists…There is scope for tourism at Sinhagad,” he said and added: “The state government wants to carry out planned development by making budgetary provisions.” Local BJP legislator Bhimrao Tapkir said Sinhagad had caught the attention of various governments in the state but there has been no coordination resulting in ineffective restoration. The forest department, the tourism department, the public works department and municipal corporation carry out development in the fort area.
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“It is difficult to find which department does what work. There is no accountability. I had been asking departments to spend funds for work done on the fort…. there is no transparency,” he added.
The BJP legislator said, “I finally conveyed the Guardian minister that if I am not able to ensure proper development of the fort in Khadakwasla assembly segment represented by me, there is no meaning in me contesting elections in future as I am not able to fulfill the promise made to voters.”
He said that only after ensuring that officials of all the departments concerned sit together would he be able to direct them to prepare a development plan for beautification of the fort before spending any funds. Once the plan is prepared, spending by any agency could be done effectively, he added.
The road is in bad shape and it has been pointed out to the district collector, Tapkir said, “The fort is the close to the city and tourists can be attracted easily. Safety of citizens should be given priority while undertaking efforts to attract tourists. Proper water supply and sewage disposal system is needed.”
The forest department charges a parking fee at Sinhagad fort and has banned use of plastic at the fort. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has undertaken beautification of Tanaji Malusare Memorial at the fort.