Pune News | Where Does the Money from Sinhagad’s Nuisance Charges Go?

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Pune : Pune News | Tourists visiting the popular destination of Sinhagad in Maharashtra are expressing discontent over the lack of facilities provided to them, despite the collection of lakhs of rupees in nuisance charges at the check posts in Golewadi and Kondhanpur Phata on the Ghatra road. Additionally, concerns are being raised about the lack of security measures taken by the forest department in the area.

 

The collection of such significant amounts as nuisance charges begs the question of how this money is being utilized. Tourists and enthusiasts of Shivpremi(those keenly interested in the life and history of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj), are demanding transparency regarding the allocation of these funds. The Forest Department has stated that the collected money is being utilized for the salaries of workers and other necessary measures.

 

To gain access to Sinhagad, visitors are required to pay a nuisance fee of Rs. 50 for two-wheelers and Rs. 100 for four-wheelers. Check posts have been established at Golewadi for tourists arriving from the Donje side and at Kondhanpur Fata on the Ghatra road for those coming from the Kondhanpur side. Employees stationed at these checkpoints collect the nuisance charges from incoming vehicles and issue receipts. With thousands of tourists visiting Sinhagad daily, an average of ten to fifteen lakh rupees is collected as nuisance fees per month. During the rainy season, when the number of visitors increases, this amount can reach twenty to twenty-five lakh rupees monthly.

 

The collected funds are deposited in the Bank of Maharashtra branch in Khanapur on behalf of the Forest Committee. However, despite the substantial revenue generated from nuisance charges, no significant improvements have been made at the fort. Important facilities such as guardrails at dangerous locations, free drinking water, emergency assistance arrangements, and first aid facilities are notably absent. Concerned citizens are questioning why the funds collected are not being utilized for the betterment of the fort and its historical structures.

 

Shivpremi Mangesh Navghane emphasizes the need for the collected money to be used for the conservation and development of the fort. He points out that the historical buildings at Sinhagad are in disrepair and unsanitary conditions persist. Transparency is demanded, and the exact expenditure of the nuisance charges needs to be disclosed to the public.

 

In response, Pradeep Sankpal, Bhamburda Forest Range Officer, explains that the collected funds are indeed used for the salaries of staff members and other fort-related works. He assures that the financial transactions are fully accounted for and audited annually. The Forest Committee maintains the balance in its account and holds two fixed deposits. Each payment of the nuisance charges is accompanied by a receipt, and a written declaration is submitted daily.

 

As of now, the situation stands with a monthly collection of 15 to 20 lakhs in charges, a total of 33 employees, monthly salary expenses of 4 lakh 10 thousand rupees, a balance of 30 lakh 53 thousand 576 rupees in the account, and a fixed deposit of 1 crore 5 lakh rupees.

 

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