Jungle safari in TATR to be a costly affair from Feb 1

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Jan 2018 09:34:53


Special Correspondent,

Giving a major jolt to tourists and wildlife enthusiasts, Maharashtra Government has hiked entry fees for jungle safari in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) from February 1. As per the latest decision, a tour to TATR will cost a group of tourists (max 6 persons) between Rs 3,550 and Rs 10,550. Even after paying such a huge sum for safari the tourists are not assured of tiger sighting in the park.

The online booking for entry in the core area of TATR will begin from January 9 at 8 am. Online booking can been done less than 60 days in advance and 60-120 days in advance. There will be two categories for booking entry for jungle safari - General and Tatkal while there will be no spot booking. The rates will be same for domestic tourists and foreign tourists.

The online booking for weekdays will cost Rs 1,000 for a person or at the most six persons in less than 60 days and the rate for booking on Saturdays/Sundays/Holidays during the same period will be Rs 2,000. This is the only entry fee for tourists while they have to pay Rs 2,200 for Gpysy and Rs 350 for guide separately, as per the press note issued by The CCF and Field Director, TATR, Chandrapur, on Monday.
The online reservation made in between 60-120 days for jungle safari on weekdays will cost Rs 4,000 and it will be Rs 8,000 for Saturdays/Sundays/Holidays. This does not include Gypsy rent and guide fee.

Similarly, the newly-introduced Tatkal booking like Railways will cost Rs 4,000 for both weekdays and weekends. The online booking for Tatkal entry will begin three days ago at 8 am and close two days ago at 5 pm. Forest Department has imposed certain conditions like not cancelling booking made online during 60-120 days, bringing identity cards by all the tourists, Gypsy booking is done online and the Canter booking is done offline, two categories - Online and Tatkal - for Gypsies, no spot booking etc.

The normal online quota is - Moharli gate - 38 morning/evening, Kolara - 18, Navegaon - 10, Khutwanda - 6 and Zari gate - 4, totalling to 76 per day. It may be mentioned here that the authorities have closed jungle safari entry to tourists from Pangdi gate.

The Tatkal online quota is: Moharli - 6 morning/evening and Kolara - 4. Any cancellation or any leftover quota at any gate after closure of normal online booking is added to Tatkal online quota for that particular gate, Field Director said.

Reliable sources said that tourists registering reservations for jungle safari in between two and four months will have to pay more - Rs 4,000 for weekdays and Rs 8,000 for weekends whereas they have to pay only Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 if booked less than two months. Foreigners plan their visits well in advance says four to six months and they will be able to enjoy jungle safari whereas domestic tourists plan for safari one or two months in advance so there are chances of missing the safari. Sudhir Mungantiwar, Forest Minister, whose home constituency is Chandrapur, aspires for bringing Tadoba on world map of tourists and this could be one attempt for fulfilling it.

Moreover, they said the Gypsy owners/drivers at pangdi gate, who purchased vehicles for tourism on bank loan basis, guides and locals at this gate would be rendered jobless after closure of the gate. They also said that on the one hand the management is increasing entry fees exorbitantly while on the other hand it is not providing basic facilities to the tourists, citing example of toilets at Khatoda gate.