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Forest Department sets up check-post near Muthathi

M.T. Shiva Kumar
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Personnel to record details of visitors besides taking their photos

Taking no chances:Forest Department officials checking vehicles at Muthathi in Malavalli taluk in Mandya.— Photo: B. Mahadeva
Taking no chances:Forest Department officials checking vehicles at Muthathi in Malavalli taluk in Mandya.— Photo: B. Mahadeva

To keep an eye on suspicious characters and to ensure safety of tourists who arrive to relish the beauty of picturesque tourist spot Muthathi at the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, the Forest Department has set up a round-the-clock check-post at Thalawadi near Muthathi in Malavalli taluk.

As the incidents of tourists being robbed, molested or assaulted are common at Muthathi, the department has declared the tourist spot as a ‘liquor-free and non-vegetarian-free’ zone.

While eight students of an engineering college in Bangalore were assaulted and two girls among them sexually humiliated in full public view near Kanakapura when they were retuning from Muthathi on August 22 this year, more than 100 persons have lost their lives in drowning incidents in Cauvery at Muthathi in the past decade.

The autopsy reports stated that a majority of victims were in inebriated condition when they drowned in the river near Muthathi.

“In the wake of a series of such [drowning] incidents, we have set up a 24x7 check-post at Thalawadi near Muthathi,” a senior forest officer told The Hindu .

Seizure

The personnel at the check-post have been directed to record names, vehicle numbers and other details of visitors, besides taking their photos. “We have also instructed the personnel to seize liquor from the tourists during the check.

This initiative will definitely prevent entry of criminals into Muthathi and other tourist spots. We are in constant touch with the security personnel at the check-post through wireless,” the officer added.

The department is also contemplating setting up two more check-posts near Boregowdana Doddi near Halagur and Bhuvahalli near Sathanur and Sangam to prevent possible harassment of visitors at the tourist spots.

Muthathi is surrounded by picnic spots such as Bheemeshwari and Galibore fishing camps, Mekedatu, Shimsha, Sangam and Chunchalli falls. Tourists from different States, majority of whom are from Bangalore, visit these places often. Following the assault on tourists and a series of drowning incidents in Cauvery River, the department has set up a check-post, the officer added.

Criminal case

Meanwhile, the Mandya police have intensified patrolling in the vicinity of Muthathi.

Emphasising the need for stringent measures to avert untoward incidents, Mandya Superintendent of Police Koushalendra Kumar said: “We have launched a special drive against the illegal sale of liquor at Muthathi and have booked four criminal cases against the people for selling liquor to tourists.”

“We are assisting the Forest Department in checking vehicles at the check-post besides deploying a good number of police personnel during weekends,” Mr. Koushalendra Kumar told The Hindu here on Sunday.

According to officials of the Department of Tourism, at least 15,000 tourists visit these places during weekends.

At least 3,000 tourists from different parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and from north India visit these spots every week, the officer said.


  • Two more check-posts near Boregowdana Doddi and Bhuvahalli planned

  • Forest officials say the move is intended to ensure safety of visitors


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