KERI: On Tuesday, a massive search operation involving forest, police and fire services personnel was carried out at Surla to trace the youth from Vasco, who had gone missing during a visit to a Surla waterfall. As the area is densely forested and difficult to negotiate, despite the rigorous search operation, the missing youth could not be found.
In all four youths, all colleagues, had entered a difficult to access spot of the Jalavticho Ozar waterfalls, situated within the core region of the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, on Monday.
Three of them —Yogesh Khadekar and Gaurish Naik from Vasco, and Sanjay Gaonkar, a local — told forest officials that their friend Shiva Harijan had gone missing while bathing in the waterfall.
The trio said that they were busy clicking photographs when they noticed that Harijan was not to be seen. They said that they searched for him, but could not find him.
On Monday morning, when the youth had gone to Jalavticho Ozar, they told the forest guards at the gate that they wanted to visit the view point area of Ladkecho Ozar. But instead they entered the core area of wildlife sanctuary and reached the Jalavticho waterfalls.
“Our staff along with police and fire personnel carried out a joint search operation, but till evening Harijan was untraceable. We will continue the operation tomorrow. The area is inaccessible and the terrain difficult. Despite this, the joint search operation was carried out,” range forest officer of the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Narayan Prabhu Desai, told TOI.
Surla, a village situated 800m above sea level has dozens of seasonal waterfalls and Jalavticho ozar that lies on the way from Surla to Satre offers a breathtaking view of the Kalasa river valley even during the summer. Taking the help of locals, picnickers as well as trekkers from Goa and neighbouring states venture into the sanctuary area, despite the many dangers.
On Sunday, the visit of another group of picnickers to the Haltar nallah in Chorla, Karnataka, resulted in the death of one Goan. The group’s activities disturbed honeybees and while attempting to escape an attack, Amarjit Pal fell into the valley. His body was recovered on Monday night.