In a humanitarian gesture, the Navi Mumbai Police and Fire Brigade rushed to the rescue of at least 116 picnickers who were stranded on a hill on Sunday following heavy rains that cut off the return route, officials said here.
The revelers, including at least 78 women and five kids had gone for a picnic in Kharghar’s lush green hills streaming with several big and small waterfalls.
According to Kharghar Police Station Senior Police Inspector S. Mali, they managed to wade through a shallow stream in the morning.
However, by afternoon, the shallow stream had swelled into a fast-moving river making it impossible for the picnickers to cross over to go home, he told media persons.
Panicking, they made frantic calls to the police and fire brigade which soon organized the two-hour long rescue operation late on Sunday.
The rescue team of around 15 fire-brigade personnel deployed ladders and thick nylon ropes to create a human wall in the gushing stream barely a dozen metres wide, and helped the marooned people cross over, without any injuries.
Since last month, the Navi Mumbai Police have banned entry to the Pandavkada waterfalls in Kharghar, and other local popular hill picnic destinations, owing to several tragic incidents that have occurred in the past.
However, villagers rue that people from Navi Mumbai, Thane, Mumbai still manage to sneak in despite the police presence and land themselves in life-threatening situations.
On his part, Mali has again warned that henceforth, if anybody is found venturing into these areas, they will “not be spared”.