Pune : Coronavirus ? What’s that? Ask Punekars crowding Khadakwasla dam despite prohibitory orders

Pune: If you happen to see the visuals of the Khadakwasla dam area of Saturday and Sunday, you would feel like the Coronavirus pandemic has been over, rather it was never a pandemic. But unfortunately, even today there are hundreds of citizens in Pune city who are being diagnosed Covid-19 positive but almost all others are behaving as if the Chinese virus would never be able to catch them.
Despite the prohibitory orders issued by the district collector from time to time, Punekars are crowding at the ‘nearest’ tourist spot of the city – the Khadakwasla dam. As a result, social distancing norms were flouted openly and it seemed as if the orders of the local administration and police officials were being collectively challenged. The home guard jawans deployed to implement the District Collector’s orders were watching the situation helplessly.
Naval Kishor Ram, the then district collector, had issued prohibitory orders on June 7 banning any activity, travel and crowding at the tourist locations in the Pune district, including Khadakwasla dam. These orders are still in effect, but only on paper. Several vendors have started and set up their stalls, carts along the road adjacent to the Khadakwasla dam. Tourists are stopping by these and stalls to eat. Several tourists are not even bothered to wear mask while being at such public places.
When relaxations were given from the lockdown in the initial phases, similar crowding was witnessed at the Khadakwasla dam. When media reports exposed this, the local police and administration took action against violators and booked them under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
Police Inspector Ashok Shelke of Haveli Police Station, while speaking to media persons, has appealed to citizens to avoid coming at the Khadakwasla dam area until the administration allows them to. He has also appealed local citizens to not set up stalls along the dam wall. Inspector Shelke has warned that those who flout these rules will be booked under relevant sections of the IPC as per the District Collector order. 0
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