Pune: Heavy rainfall has triggered landslides at multiple locations along the ghat road of Sinhagad. Fortunately, no accidents have been reported thus far, as the landslides occurred overnight. However, had they taken place during the day on Sunday when tourist vehicles were queuing on the Ghat road, a major incident could have occurred.
Landslides are a recurring occurrence during the monsoon season on the ghat road of Sinhagad. Tragically, last year, a young trekker lost their life in a landslide. Additionally, the ghat road has been frequently closed for traffic due to landslides.
About a year ago, the forest department allocated approximately 1.5 crores in funds to the public works department for crack prevention work. However, even a modest budget has yet to be approved.
This year, with the onset of rains, landslides have begun on a larger scale. Last week, stones fell from a cliff near Pune Darwaja, and now, four to five areas along the ghat road have collapsed.
The most perilous location, the first sharp bend on the ghat road, has experienced a substantial crack and a pile of stones that obstructs half of the road. Fortunately, no harm was caused in this particular incident.
However, due to a lack of coordination between the Forest Department and the Public Works Department, the safety of tourists has been compromised. Forest department officials appear to be neglecting their responsibilities, focusing solely on duty collection at the check post at the foot of Sinhagad.
Last year, forest department officials made commendable efforts to manage traffic on the Ghat road. Unfortunately, this year, the situation seems disorganized, leaving tourists to endure inconvenience in the coming years as well.
One must question the seriousness of the administration. On Saturdays and Sundays, fifteen to twenty thousand tourists visit Sinhagad. The narrow ghat road witnesses queues of vehicles stretching for four to five kilometers. In such circumstances, the collapse of a crack could result in significant loss of life. Regrettably, the administration has not implemented any plans to alleviate traffic congestion on the Ghat road or establish an emergency response system.
Balasaheb Jivde, Conservator of Forests at Sinhgad, assured that an urgent crew would be dispatched to remove the crack from the road. However, comprehensive measures are needed to address the ongoing safety concerns and protect the lives of visitors to Sinhagad.