If you are planning to visit Pandavkada waterfall in Kharghar this monsoon, you may want to watch what you bring along, as it could cost you Rs 25 for each bottle you throw there. In a move to curb littering, the forest department has decided to charge tourists a refundable deposit of Rs 25 per bottle if they want to carry bottles along with them to the waterfall.
Each year huge crowds turn up at the waterfall, especially during the monsoon, and officials of the Panvel range forest department claim that it took tremendous time and effort on their part to clean up the area surrounding the waterfall, which was littered with plastic and glass bottles discarded by tourists.
To keep the area clean, the forest office has come up with the plan to charge visitors Rs 25 per bottle as a refundable deposit while they are entering the waterfall area. Visitors can reclaim their deposit amount upon showing that they have returned with their bottles.
Anil Parab, forest officer of Panvel range, said, “We had to hire additional labourers to clean the waterfall area, which was littered with plastic bottles, cold drink bottles and even liquor bottles. Since the bottles had been lying there for over eight months, most of them were broken, which made our job more difficult. So we have come up with this initiative, wherein we will take a deposit from tourists carrying bottles. Since we are taking a substantial amount as deposit, we expect tourists to bring back their bottles.
We anticipate that the waterfall will remain clean and plastic-free during and after this monsoon season.” The forest office has decided to carry out this initiative with help from villagers who reside near the waterfall. “This initiative will be implemented under the Joint Forest Management (JFM) scheme and with help from villagers who reside near the waterfall.
“The forest office will ensure proper implementation of the initiative by the JFM committee,” said Parab. The forest office may approach the Navi Mumbai police in an effort to check cases of liquor consumption at the waterfall area.