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Saturday, September 26, 2020

It’s no from Sattari for Waterfall revelers due to COVID-19 By Akib Shaikh

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Valpoi: Sattari, which records the highest rainfall every year, attracts tourist during monsoon season, tourist across the state comes here for water rafting, forest trails and to enjoy waterfalls. Every weekend Sattari witnesses hundreds of tourists movement.

While villagers usually welcome visitors, this year they decided not to allow any outsider due to covid pandemic and the growing menace of discarding waste at the scenic waterfalls which disturbs villagers. Villagers on Sunday morning have displayed boards requesting tourist not to go at waterfalls.

Locals of Bhramakarmali is now worried that the increase in urban visitors will push their life in danger and their trail of waste will ruin Sattari’s waterfalls for nature lovers. The taluka has many waterfalls, the most popular being Saleli, Keri, Morle, Copardem, Pali, Charavane, Hivre, Nanoda, Bambar, Brahmakarmali, Shelpe and Chorla Ghat. All of them are seasonal and spring to life only during the monsoon. Most are located within the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary.

Every weekend, thousands of picnickers and trekkers from Goa and neighbouring states visit this waterfalls. Earlier at most of these tourist attractions, the forest department used to charge an entry fee. A few of them have even had to deploy police constables to keep the picnickers who drink alcohol from getting unruly.

A prominent citizen of Brahma Karmali Mr Sagar Prabhudessai said that many accidents occur as tourists drink and drive. “People from the interior villages of Sattari suffer due to this unruly behaviour of a few tourists, many times village women have complained about the eve-teasing by the drunken tourist”.

“The influx of weekend visitors also leads to traffic snarls in Valpoi town, villagers also complained that a few tourists even dance on the roads after consuming alcohol and create an unnecessary ruckus”. Sagar added

Parag Khadilker, Panch member from Nagargao Panchayat said that picnickers and trekkers are throwing garbage and plastic everywhere in the forest area, breaking alcohol bottles near the waterfalls and making a general nuisance.

“If this continues, it is a threat to our environment. There must be a strict vigil on tourists, at a few places the forest department clears the garbage but the work is carried out at a snail’s pace, this year our villagers have decided not to allow anyone at our waterfalls”. Parag added

In July 2018, Surla village in Sattari implemented an alcohol ban in the village to put an end to tourists drinking and creating a nuisance on its roads. Just like Sattari, the village attracts a lot of visitors to its natural springs and had to deal with drunken brawls and eve-teasing.

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