Gaganachukki-Bharachukki: Death traps in waiting?

Absence of safety measures claim lives; officials in slumber

Risky: People who venture to walk towards the bottom of the falls at Bharachukki falls often do it under grave risk, in Kollegal taluk. Growth of algae along the way, makes the steps slippery and hence dangerous. DH PHOTO

None of the authorities seem to have woken up even after the death of two tourists at the spot last week. Neither the officials of respective department, nor the elected representatives are worried about improving the infrastructure facilities, or even step up safety measures in the larger interest of the tourists, and general public here. The Bharachukki falls comes under jurisdiction of Chamarajanagar district, while Gaganchukki areas falls under Mandya district.

Following copious rains in Cauvery catchment areas, the water level in the river has increased from last few days attracting tourists to enjoy the serene atmosphere and added beauty of Gaganachukki and Bharachukki water falls at leisure. However, lack of safety measures in the falls has created anxiousness among tourists and public after the death of two tourists who were slipped into the falls last week.

Recently, Bangalore based BMS Engineering college student Prabha Anya (21) died by slipping into the Bharachukki falls while watching the beauty along with her classmates.
When this incident was still green on the minds of the people another tourist from Uttar Pradesh, Shasank Srivatsav, who was working at a private firm in Bangalore also slipped into Gaganchukki Falls and died few days ago. Both these incidents had led to penting up of tension among the tourists here.   

The Government had sanctioned  `  4.31 crore for improvement of infrastructure facilities in Bharchukki and  Gaganachukki falls. Though the parapet walls were built up to a distance of 1.5 km on the road connecting to Bharachukki falls to avoid tourists moving close to dangerous spots near the falls, some tourists prefer these spots through shortcut road. This happens despite construction of parapet walls since people act with a sense of overenthusiasm. The general public demanded the authorities concerned to avoid this.  Besides, tourists moving towards the base of the water falls risk their lives despite being warned about the impending danger. There is every possibility that one slips close to base owing to formation of algae on stones, which lead to skidding. The lack of security guards and delay in the appointment for the same is resulting in the death of tourists who don’t pay heed to written warnings.

No sign boards

The other disturbing factor is lack of signboard even after the death of many tourists. The officials concerned have not attempted to put up signbords near the dangerous spots to educate the public. The public flayed the local police for not taking any steps to control the crowd, traffic and to put up warning signboards.  Speaking to Deccan Herald, a tourist from Bangalore, Avinash demanded the district administration and other concerned department to take up safety measures to avoid deaths at the famous picnic spot.

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