IN A major warning for revellers, any person found drinking in the precincts of heritage forts in Maharashtra may be slapped with a fine or a jail term, or both, soon, a State Minister indicated here. The ruling Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party Government plans to introduce provisions to penalise people on the wrong side of the law as far as maintaining the sanctity of forts is concerned.
“We shall bring in a law that would provide for three months in jail and a fine of Rs 10,000, or both,” Cultural Affairs Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said in the Legislature on Monday. He said that his ministry would hold discussions with the Law & Judiciary and Home ministries in this context. Besides, Mungantiwar warned that visitors to these forts who are found spoiling the premises or polluting the local environment would also attract action by way of hefty fines.
“We shall implement various activities to maintain the sanctity and cleanliness of all these forts. Punitive action will be taken against those who desecrate the sanctity of these heritage monuments. Rewards will also be offered to the informers who can provide inputs about those who sully these historical structures in any manner,” Mungantiwar said.
Maharashtra has around 450 recorded forts around the State comprising imposing hillforts, awesome sea-forts, in urban or rural centres, river-sides or forests, etc. dotting almost every district.