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Lonavala Tragedy: Prohibitory orders issued at picnic spots after 5 people drown in waterfall
Photo Courtesy: video grab

Lonavala Tragedy: Prohibitory orders issued at picnic spots after 5 people drown in waterfall

| @indiablooms | 04 Jul 2024, 05:00 pm

Pune/Lonavala: The Pune district administration has issued prohibitory orders at several popular picnic spots after a tragic incident where a woman and four children were swept away in a waterfall near Bhushi Dam in the Lonavala area on Sunday (July1).

The order issued under the Bhartiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNNS) and the Disaster Management Act, 2005, covers popular sites like Bhushi Dam and Pavana Dam in Maval and will be in effect from July 2 to 31.

The prohibitory orders, under section 163 of the BNNS and the Disaster Management Act, ban gatherings of five or more people and restrict entry into water bodies.

Further, activities such as taking selfies and creating reels at specified locations are completely banned.

The incident occurred around 12:30 pm on Sunday. A few hours later, rescuers recovered the bodies of Shahista Liaqat Ansari (36), Amina Adil Ansari (13), and Umera Adil Ansari (8). Adnan Ansari's body was found on Monday evening, and Mariya Ansari's (9) body was recovered from a nearby reservoir.

The victims were part of a group of 16-17 people from Sayyad Nagar in Hadapsar, Pune.

A video of the incident shows 9-10 people holding onto each other as water rushed around them before a woman and two children were swept away as their grip loosened.

Bystanders in the video can be heard urged them to hold on until help arrives.

Bhushi Dam is a popular tourist destination in the Pune region during the monsoon season, despite frequent warnings to avoid the water.

On the day of the accident, around 50,000 people visited Lonavala amid rains.

The accident underscores the dangers posed by monsoon-filled water bodies like waterfalls and dams.

The prohibitory orders cover areas including Maval, Mulshi, Ambegaon, Khed, Junnar, Bhor, Velha, Indapur, and Haveli. Notable tourist spots like Tiger Point, Lion's Point, Rajmachi Point in Khandala, and waterfalls in Bendewadi and Dahuli are included in the order. Other affected areas are Mulshi Dam, Tamhini Ghat, Milkybar waterfall in Mulshi, and Khadakwasla and Warasgaon dams in Haveli.

The Maharashtra government announced in the state assembly that families of the deceased would receive financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh each from the Chief Minister’s relief fund.

NCP MLA Chetan Tupe raised the issue, emphasizing the need for greater awareness among tourists about the dangers of monsoon terrains and called for strict enforcement of prohibitions and prominent warning signs at such locations.

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