Trekkers to Dudhsagar Falls made to do sit-ups for violating 'rules'
The falls are on the Karnataka-Goa border in Bhagvaan Mahaveer sanctuary. The waterfalls belong to Karnataka, but the water that flows falls into Goa territory.
KARWAR/BEKAGAVI: Visitors to Dudhsagar Falls at Castle Rock in Uttara Kannada district on Sunday were made to do sit-ups as punishment, courtesy of the Railway Police who have banned trekking to the waterfalls without the permission of the Goa government.
The falls are on the Karnataka-Goa border in Bhagvaan Mahaveer sanctuary. The waterfalls belong to Karnataka, but the water that flows falls into Goa territory. As the waterfalls have turned majestic with heavy rains in the Western Ghats over the last few days, people from Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Belagavi, Uttara Kannada, Hubballi-Dharwad and Bagalkot, Pune and other districts of Maharashtra have been thronging the scenic spot. The Goa police, Goa Forest Department and the Railways have been strict with trekkers, considering the heavy rainfall and the likelihood of mishaps.
Tourists sit on railway track and protest
Visitors have to trek from Castle Rock along the railway line to reach the falls. “Despite the Railways banning trekking, people came in large numbers without permission. They all get down once the train slows down. This being the weekend, the crowd was bigger.
More than 50 Railway Police personnel who had been stationed stopped the trekkers midway, punished them by making them do situps and sent them back,” one of the visitors said. The policemen hit the youth, who did not do the sit-ups, mildly with lathis.
The video has gone viral on social media. Some tourists also staged a protest by sitting on the railway track to condemn the behaviour of the police. “We came from Banahatti in Bagalkot to see the waterfalls. We did not expect such treatment from the police,” said a visitor who was punished by the police.
Dudhsagar is the sixth-highest waterfall in the country, falling from a height of 320 metres, even higher than Jog Falls, which is 254 metres. It is the second highest waterfall in Karnataka after Kunchackkal waterfalls in Shivamogga that falls from a height of 455 metres.
Large numbers of trekkers were stopped at #Dudhsagar railway station from going to the famous cascade. Entry to the waterfalls is banned owing to heavy rains and train movement @NewIndianXpress @XpressBengaluru @KannadaPrabha @NammaBengaluroo @allaboutbelgaum @HubliCityeGroup pic.twitter.com/roBJG7BS93— Amit Upadhye (@AmitSUpadhye) July 16, 2023
The Dudhsagar rail stop is not a station where passengers can expect a platform. Visitors have to climb down from bogeys and trek about a kilometre on the tracks to arrive at the falls. The Indian Railways has banned people from boarding and deboarding at the Dudhsagar stop.