Bhushi Dam: MLA Sunil Shelke demands space allocation for displaced vendors

MLA Shelke said, "The land below Bhushi Dam is private and owned by the local vendors' ancestors, who rely on tourism for their livelihood."
File Photo
File Photo

Pune: In the wake of the tragic drowning of five individuals at a waterfall in Lonavala, the district administration took action against unauthorized encroachments around Bhushi Dam.

This move has sparked a strong reaction from Maval MLA Sunil Shelke, who has expressed concerns about the livelihood of local residents dependent on the area.

Shelke, in a meeting with stall and kiosk owners, warned the administration against pushing them to protest. "Do not force us onto the streets, or you will face problems. Whose government is this, anyway? If we block Lonavala and the highway for a day, it will cause chaos," he cautioned.

The MLA met with affected business owners and took a firm stand, criticizing the officials present. "Yesterday, I called this officer, but he did not answer. Remember, there will be a reckoning for this," Shelke remarked. He demanded a two-day deadline for officials to mark the areas to be cleared and to compensate those whose structures were removed.

Shelke further urged the administration to allocate spaces for the displaced vendors within two to three days, emphasizing the impact on their livelihoods.

"The Bhushi Dam, a significant tourist spot, should not be shut down by the administration. Business owners should not be scared. I will provide any help I can, including materials needed to set up stalls. However, do not set up stalls directly in the water flow," he advised.

He pointed out that the land below Bhushi Dam is private and owned by the local vendors' ancestors, who rely on tourism for their livelihood. "For six months a year, they conduct business here. Any attempts by officials to disrupt their existence will not be tolerated.

If we are forced onto the streets, it will create significant issues. Blocking Lonavala and the highway for a day will cause major disruptions," Shelke warned, urging the administration to avoid forcing such measures.

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