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Ascend in trekking activity as forts, tourist spots reopen in Maharashtra

The district specialists have detailed a perceptible expansion in traveling action after the noteworthy fortresses and places of interest, for example, Sinhagad, Rajgad, Torna, Lohagad, Visapur, among others, were resume from the principal seven day stretch of November.

The organization had shut these posts in March taking into account the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pune locale authority Rajesh Deshmukh told TOI on Sunday, “Visitors and trekkers must strictly follow the Covid-19 guidelines while enjoying their visit to the forts. We are constantly reviewing the situation through our tehsil administration. For now, the situation (spread of infection) is fairly under control.”

The locale has almost 60 posts spread across Bhor, Velhe, Maval, Mulshi, Khed, Ambegaon and Junnar tehsils. Adventurers from over the state visit these fortifications consistently in enormous numbers. The neighborhood inhabitants acquire their vocation from the traveling and vacationer exercises.

A few journeying and the travel industry gatherings and associations had called for opening up of the fortifications to empower the neighborhood occupants to restore their monetary movement and job. “Many families, mainly the tribals, rely on activities such as running makeshift eatery joints around the forts. Some organize home stays and work as guides,” Santosh Shelke, a camp organizer in Maval, said.

Akhil Maharashtra Giriyarohan Mahasangh president Umesh Zirpe stated, “Sinhagad fort, which is closest to Pune city, has seen a huge rise in footfall. Nowadays, people are going for trekking almost every day instead of weekends. They can do so because of the “work from home” facility, which is enabling them to work from anywhere. We feel people need to explore other forts to avoid crowds at a single place.”

Zirpe stated, “Commercial trek organizers are yet to start their activity. These groups do not want to take risk for now as following a set guidelines would be a big challenge for them. For example, providing a separate tent to each person is not economically viable for them.”

Ashok Pathare, a lodging proprietor at the lower regions of Tung post in Maval, stated, “Hundreds of trekkers from all age groups visited the fort in the last two weeks. We haven’t seen such a crowd in this short period throughout this year.”

Junnar’s Swarup Shelkande, who runs an inn and dairy close to Shivneri fortress, stated, “People here are dependent only on organizing treks, providing meals to tourists and arranging their stay. They earn Rs500 to Rs1,000 daily. This amount is enough for them to run their homes. Some of them make more money. We have been paying extra attention towards social distancing norms. The reopening of forts was needed and is now helping locals in big way.”

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Daily Pune journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.