Mahabaleshwar tourism hit by pandemic, small vendors suffer

The tourism at Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani, the two popular hill stations near Pune has taken a hit in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Police checkpoints have been installed on the Pune-Bengaluru highway where the officials take a note of the travellers, destination, origin point and phone number.

However, the road to Mahabaleshwar was deserted. In the hilly town, horse riding and Venna lake boating has been shut down for tourists.

The roads leading to various tourist points like, Sunset point, Arthur point, table land point have been closed for tourists.

“I had been inside the four walls during this whole lockdown period, I got to breathe some fresh air at Mahabaleshwar even though all points are closed,” said Deewakar Dutta, a resident of Wagholi.

Sanjay Hogade, a shopkeeper opposite Mapro garden, Gureghar who has been running his business for 16 years said he opened his shop yesterday after a six-month break.

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“I have to bear a heavy loss since most commodities have expired like cold drinks, chikki, and biscuits,” Hogade said.

The famous Mapro garden has opened for dine-in but has seen only a few tourists at the restaurant. The tables have been placed at a distance of seven feet from each other.

Apoorva Pandey, a tourist said he missed his favourite strawberry cream at Mapro as it wasn’t available due to the less production of strawberry in the garden.

A worker at Mapro said the garden has opened from September 5th but is seeing a lukewarm response, even though they are following all sanitization rules.

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