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Want to enjoy rains in Lonavala? Get an e-pass

This monsoon, heading to Lonavala for a break will be a challenging task for Mumbaikars. Local police at the hill station have limited the entry to only those with e-passes. People found without an e-pass will be fined Rs 1,000. However, police do not have instructions on whether they are to send back people found without a pass or let them stay after the payment of the fine.

Last year, crowds rushed to Lonavala during the rains in August. This year too, as rains arrive, crowds and traffic were seen at the hill station over the weekend. It took the local police over an hour to control the traffic. As a result, entry and exit points have been blocked with nakabandi. Senior Inspector Milind Pawar of Lonavala police said, “Only people having e-passes will be allowed to come to Lonavala. We have imposed a strict nakabandi at all entry and exit points in Lonavala. We have a staff strength of 40 and have placed requests to provide 15 more personnel for nakabandi.”

“We are fining those without an e-pass with Rs 1,000. Still many people are still coming daily and are asking us to let them enter after paying the fine. We are letting them in as there are no instructions so far about what to do with vehicles without the pass. Mask-less people are fined Rs 500,” Pawar said.

A Mumbaikar who visited the hill station last weekend said, “We left early on Saturday morning and found a huge traffic jam at the entry point. We had taken a bungalow on rent. But there were no restrictions. All bungalows were fully booked, people were roaming outside. There was no rain last week. But as the season progresses, crowds will double.”

“The number of people coming in the morning and leaving by night has increased nowadays,” Pawar added.

Fines collected over the weekend

>> 96 fined for travelling without e-pass, Rs 63,000 collected
>> 253 people fined for roaming without any reason, Rs 1,26,500 collected
>> 158 people fined for not maintaining social distance, Rs 82,500 collected
>> 10 mask-less people fined, Rs 5,000 collected



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