Matheran residents want tempos carrying LPG cylinders to continue

Published: 30 September, 2020 14:09 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Matheran

Seeking continuation of lorry service till the lockdown effect settles down, Matheran residents are now approaching the court with an appeal

Tempos carrying LPG cylinders
Tempos carrying LPG cylinders

The tempos ferrying essential LPG gas cylinders will be stopped from September 30 and the load will again be passed on to horsebacks, which will not only make it expensive, but also an act of cruelty for animals.

Seeking continuation of lorry service till the lockdown effect settles down, Matheran residents are now approaching the court with an appeal.

Mid-day had on April 6 reported that how lack of motorised transport in Matheran is making it difficult for locals to get essential supplies like gas cylinders. The 6,500 residents are dependent on about 460 horses and a few hand carts for essential supplies.

Earlier, the authorities had started the narrow-gauge train service, but it was soon discontinued as there was not adequate response because the train timings did not sync with the business hours. Moreover, ferrying gas cylinders was not been allowed on the train. However, responding to residents’ appeal, the authorities allowed a lorry service to ferry LPG cylinders till the town of Matheran till September 30.

“The deadline ends today and we will be forced to rely on horses, which are very few in numbers with no loaders. This will lead to burdening the existing horses,” said one of the petitioners Sunil Shinde.

The petition says that the lorry movement in the eco-sensitive zone had been monitored very closely. “Matheran municipal chief officer Prashant Jadhav has done excellent job of monitoring of tempo service. No misuse was allowed at all. Locals are happy and wish the tempo service to continue. The Union environment ministry has asked the state to explore battery operated vehicles to solve transport problem permanently, though it is not possible at present due to uneven road surfaces,” Shinde said.

Meanwhile, animal protection NGOs have taken strong objection over use of horses for carrying LPG cylinders as they are highly inflammable which is dangerous.

Matheran council president Prerna Sawant said, “It will benefit people at large. Besides the animal issue, the lorry helps in easy loading and unloading. In fact in larger interest, they should be allowed once in a while to bring up material for infra works too. Because, half the road is complete and rest half remains incomplete till the material is brought up manually. It will help speed up infra works also.”

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