Maha's Panju island under lockdown amid COVID-19 fears

Maharashtra's Panju island under lockdown amid COVID-19 fears

Boats in the Arabian sea with Punju island in the background.

A small island, Panju, near Mumbai, is under lockdown in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, which is reaching an alarming levels.

Located within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), the Panju Island is in the estuarine creek off Vasai in Palghar district. When one passes through the Western Railway bridge between Bhayander and Naigaum, he or she can see the old bridge and below it lies the island. 

Also read — Island turns into tourist attraction

This is the Panju Island that is cut off from the mainland and like Mumbai, this place too has a unique history. One has to get into a boat to reach Panju island.

The gram panchayat of Panju has decided not to allow anyone except for the villagers.

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"Guests, hawkers, workers are strictly not allowed," said Kiran Bhoir, a youth and activist from the village, who runs a tour company.

The village, spread over 600 acres, has huge patches of salt pans and fishing boats dotting the elliptical coast. Villagers own around 100 plus boats – mainly used to sand dredging or fishing.