PEOPLE REDRAWING New Year’s plans after the state government imposed a night curfew till January 5 will also have to strike out beaches in Alibaug and Mandwa or Janjira Fort in Raigad district from their options.
The district collector of Raigad on Thursday issued an order closing the fort, a popular tourist draw, for visitors from Friday to January 2 with a view to prevent crowding at the site as people gather there for New Year’s celebrations on December 31. While there will be no restrictions on celebrations at hotels and resorts in Raigad, the night curfew from 11 pm to 6 am will be imposed in public areas, including beaches and riverfronts.
Given the coastal district’s proximity to Mumbai, Thane and Pune, beaches in Raigad, mainly Alibaug, Murud and Shrivardhan, are expected to see a number of tourist arrivals for Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Raigad district administration will also set up nine checkpoints where health workers will conduct preliminary health checks on arriving tourists for Covid-19 screening. The checkpoints will be set up at Mandwa, Revas, Kharpada, Vadavli toll naka, Matheran, Vakan Phata, Tamhani Ghat, Varandh Ghat and Shivaji Maharaj Chowk in Poladpur taluka from December 28 to January 1, the district administration said.
In an order issued on Thursday, Raigad Collector Nidhi Choudhari stated that since Janjira, the fort located in the Arabian Sea, is a popular tourist attraction, the number of visitors is expected to surge during Christmas-New Year celebrations as tourists come to popular sites like Alibaug, Shrivardhan and Murud.
It further stated that to prevent the spread of Covid-19, it was important to keep the fort closed for visitors from December 25 to January 2.
The order also stated that the Superintendent of Police, Raigad, also suggested that this would help in preventing the infection as well as any law and order issues.