If you are one of the many who had thought of visiting the Pandavkada waterfalls in Kharghar, its better you think of another weekend destination.
Citing unruly behaviour from those visiting the waterfall, showing zero regard for the fragile ecosystem, it has been a week since the forest department cordoned off the area for general public.
Harishchandra Ahire, round officer from Panvel range, said, “Instead of enjoying the scenic beauty of the place, tourists create a ruckus and behave in an uncivilised manner. It is a known fact that several tourists come here just to drink alcohol, and in the process harm the fragile ecosystem. Our pleas to the tourist to mind their manners fell on deaf ears.”
Opposing the move, Nationalist Youth Congress Party member Kiran Patil said, “Initially, we had opposed the forest department’s proposal to charge Rs 50 as entry fee because we felt there were no facilities provided to the tourist for that kind of amount. Making the area off-limits for public is not acceptable. We had initially agreed with their proposal of charging entry, but certainly not as high an amount as Rs 50. Such places can be enjoyed only during monsoons and the forest department deciding to ban tourists is not right.”
Those who visited the waterfall recently, before the forest department cordoned off the area, said the place was guarded inadequately.
Parth Sharma, who visited Pandavkada with his college friends, said they had to take extra care of valuables after they learnt that several visitors had lost theirs.
“Besides, hardly any security guards were seen at the location. What will people do in case there’s an emergency.”
Approximate number of tourists who throng the waterfalls on weekends during monsoon