Prohibitory Orders Snubbed: Sinhagad Fort, Khadakwasla Chaupati Packed on Weekend

5000 tourists in groups of five to eight in vehicles were reported at Sinhagad Fort. They were allowed entry upon paying a fee of Rs 100.
Image for representational purpose
Image for representational purpose

Pune: Despite the enforcement of Section 144 (prohibiting the assembly of people) at forts, dams, and waterfalls, thousands of tourists were seen at Sinhagad Fort on this weekend.

Tourists and vendors at Sinhagad Fort questioned the rationale behind the restrictions, arguing that forts are inspirational and not typically sites of disorderly conduct. They expressed that the prohibitory orders were unnecessary for such locations.

Tourists often visit dangerous spots for stunts and social media videos, resulting in several fatalities. These incidents led district officials to enforce prohibitory orders at various locations, including dams, waterfalls, lakes, and forts. The move aims to ensure tourist safety and prevent accidents.

After accidents at Bhushi Dam and Plus Valley, the district administration took action. With the monsoon season prompting weekend outings, concerns about safety arose. Yet, some tourists continued to visit without regard for the restrictions.

On Saturday, approximately 5,000 tourists were reported at Sinhagad Fort, according to local vendors and observers, despite the expected reduction in numbers.

At Sinhagad Fort, there was a notable lack of enforcement. Tourists arrived in groups of five to eight in vehicles, which were allowed entry upon paying a fee of Rs 100. The forest department did not have any personnel ensuring compliance with the prohibitory orders. As a result, the fort was crowded, undermining the intent of the restrictions.

Despite bans on descending into fast-flowing waters, deep water entry, and taking selfies at dangerous spots, tourists, including families with children, were seen engaging in such activities. This risky behavior persisted despite the restrictions.

Similarly, Section 144 was in effect at dams, including Khadakwasla Chaupati, which still saw crowds. Although bamboo barriers were installed along the dam's edge, and security personnel were deployed to prevent people from entering the water, the gathering of tourists continued.

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