Pune Rural Police have intensified action against people visiting various monsoon tourist places, especially those in and around dams in the district. The crackdown follows directives of the Pune District Collector prohibiting the entry of people to various monsoon tourist destinations including dams, water bodies, hilly areas and forts.
On June 8, Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram had issued an order prohibiting entry to various destinations citing the possibility of spread of Covid-19 and also instances of accidental drowning deaths and law and order issues arising out of tourists’ behaviour in the past.
There are a large number of monsoon tourist destinations in Pune which include water reservoirs or back waters of dams, waterfalls, spots in Ghat sections or hilly areas, forest areas, and riverbanks. These places are mostly in Maval, Mulshi, Haveli, Ambegaon, Junnar, Bhor and Welha talukas of Pune district. Some of the key places of tourist attraction are dams like Bhushi, Mulshi, Khadakwasla, Bhatghar dams or in the surrounding areas of Lonavala, Khandala, Bhimashankar, Malshej Ghat or various forts.
The order by the Pune Collector, which was issued as per the provisions of Disaster Management Act, states that the violators will be liable for prosecution under Indian Penal Code Section 188 which pertains to ‘disobedience of order promulgated by a public officer.’ Following the order, Pune Rural Superintendent of Police Sandeep Patil had directed police stations which have jurisdictions over these destinations to take concerted efforts to restrict movement of tourists.
Inspector Ashok Dhumal of Paud police station said, “We have set up check points on the roads towards the tourist places like Tamhini Ghat or Lavasa Road etc. We are directing people coming for tourism purposes to return from these checkpoints. Those who manage to reach the tourist places by alternate routes or bypassing the checkpoints giving false reasons and try to spend time in nearby areas, are either being booked for violation of government orders or they are being fined. Over the last one week we have taken action in 250 cases which are either groups or individuals. They have either been booked under section 188 or local gram panchayat is imposing a fine on them.”
As many as 381 cases have been registered against the tourists in various police stations under section 188 since the order by the district collector. Other than these cases, a large number of tourists have been fined for violating various rules. These cases are from Lonavala Town Police station (63), Lonavala Rural (150), Paud (136), Welha (25), Ghodegaon (2), Vadgaon Maval (5).
Pune City police intensify action
Pune City police too have intensified action against people violating restrictions, vehicle norms and safety rules. A senior officer said that considering the increased movement of people on roads and rising cases outside containment zones, action against rule violators has been intensified.
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