The Maharashtra government has decided to throw open its historic Yerwada central prison for the crowd to visit it under the ‘Jail Tourism’ in the state starting from this Republic Day, January 26.
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Saturday announced that the state Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will inaugurate the initiative on Republic Day in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and other top officials in order to facilitate people to visit and see from close quarters the historical prisons.
“In the first phase, Jail Tourism will be started in Yerwada prison whereas it will begin in Nagpur Central Jail in the second phase. We shall levy a small fee, Rs 5 for school students, Rs 10 for collegians and Rs 50 for general tourists,” the minister said. Later, it will be extended to other prisons like Nagpur, Nashik, Thane, Ratnagiri, etc, Deshmukh added.
The 150-year-old Yerwada Central Jail in Pune was built by the British in 1871 which spread across a lush greenery of 512 acres. The prison areas are sub-divided as per security zones and barracks for the roughly 5,000 inmates, and there are ultra-secure 10 Oval Cells for isolating the most heinous criminals and terrorists. The complex is secured by four high walls to prevent any adventurous escapes.
Earlier, the Cellular Jail in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, infamous as ‘Kala Paani’; Fort Aguada Jail in Goa; and the Sangareddy Central Jail in Telangana were among the major prisons where tourism has been allowed.