Police investigations have revealed that the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC)-run boating facility at Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park in Katraj was running illegally since 2002.
The fact came to light after Bharati Vidyapeeth police arrested three persons — the boat club’s manager Deepak Madhavrao Argade of Hadapsar, a boatman/ lifeguard Tirupataiyaa Vyankataiyya Erla of Ghorpadigaon and helper Anup Avinash Alhat (25) of Thergaon — on Wednesday in connection with the death of a labourer Rajesh Vitthal Dhotre (39), who had drowned on May 10 this year after he had visited the boat club with his children and a friend.
Arguing for seven-day police custody for the accused, assistant public prosecutor Madhav Poul told the court that the MTDC-run boating facility was illegal.
“The agreement between Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the MTDC for the boating facility had expired in 2002. The police wants to investigate how and with whose permission the boating facility was functioning despite expiry of the agreement,” Poul submitted to the court.
The accused were produced before Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) S R Bhor for seeking their custody.
“Although a life jacket is compulsory, it was not given to those in the boat. The life guard too did not come for help in time, which resulted in Dhotre’s death,” said police inspector (crime) S B Yadav, who is investigating the case.