NGOs say newcomers with no experience are organising such events

Trekking is a monsoon staple for Mumbaikars, and it would seem like every Tom, Dick and Harry is organising one. With increasing cases of mishaps in the Sahyadris due to reckless and unsafe practices, NGOs from Thane, Panvel, Pune and Nashik have decided to lodge police complaints against such trek organisers.

The development comes on the heels of the accident two days ago when a couple of trekkers out in the Peb Fort near Matheran met with an accident and had to be rescued in a four-hour operation.

NGOs say enough
NGOs including Shivdurg Mitra (Lonavla), Yashwanti Hikers (Khopoli), Nisargmitra (Panvel), Pimpri Chinchwad Mountaineering Association, Giripremi (Pune) and others were at the meeting where the decision was made.

Speaking to mid-day, Sunil Gaikwad, secretary of NGO Shivdurg Mitra, said, "Over the years, the number of people going for treks in the state has increased and so has the number of groups that organise such treks. At times, it has been observed that many newcomers who don't have much information about organising such events are also doing it, which is why accidents happen."

NGOs say, over the years, number of groups organising treks across the state, especially during monsoon, have increased. Representation picNGOs say, over the years, number of groups organising treks across the state, especially during monsoon, have increased. Representation pic

Gaikwad further added, "We don't want people to meet with accidents, and so likeminded NGOs have decided that henceforth, if we find that the accidents happen because of the group leader's fault, then we will ask the police authorities to take action against them. Such an endeavour will help us check frequent accidents in these areas in which countless lives are lost only because the organisers are ill-informed."

Trekkers say
Kunal Chaudhari, a regular trekker, said, "Going for treks has become a trend among youngsters nowadays, but I personally feel that before heading for such an adventure, one should do a background check of the group they are going with, because going with a group leader who does not have experience increases the chances of accidents."