As the year draws to a close, the State Water Resource Department has issued stern notices to owners of 350 camping sites, warning them against organizing New Year events at popular dams such as Panshet, Khadakwasla, Varasgaon, Temghar, Kasarsai, Mulshi, and Pavana. The move comes in response to safety and environmental concerns arising from previous incidents near these water bodies.
Shweta Kurhade, Executive Engineer of Khadakwasla Irrigation Division, stated, “We have informed the police department to inspect dams and nearby areas, keep a strict vigil, and take action against people who host parties and events at dams. Notices have been sent from our side to individuals hosting events in sites falling under our division.”
The camping sites, often situated near picturesque dams, have been hotspots for New Year celebrations, with owners hosting bonfires, cookouts with alcohol, loud music, swimming, and boating. Tragic incidents in the past have prompted the department to take a proactive stance, seeking police assistance to book organizers or owners if prohibitory orders are not followed.
Pavana Dam, in close proximity to Hinjewadi IT Park and the Pune-Mumbai highway, is one of the preferred locations for campers, drawing travelers from Thane, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pune, Kalyan, and Mumbai. These sites are popular not only for their scenic beauty but also due to their proximity to historical forts like Lohagad, Tung, Visapur, and Tikona.
Despite the appeal of these camping spots, safety concerns have prompted authorities to take action. Incidents of drowning in lakes and backwaters, as well as environmental issues such as littering and disturbance to local ecology, have become increasingly prevalent.
The State Water Resource Department has discovered that the irrigation department owns the land adjacent to these dams, purchased from original owners long ago. Eviction notices have been dispatched to the owners of 350 camping sites, with a strict eight-day deadline, aiming to curb potential safety hazards and environmental degradation associated with unregulated New Year celebrations.