Tourism in buffer of TATR to continue during monsoon

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Jun 2018 10:28:57


Special Correspondent,

Wildlife Wing of Forest Department has decided to close tourism in the core area of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) from July 1 during monsoon as per the tiger conservation plan. However, it will keep open jungle safari in buffer area of TATR during rainy season. A K Misra, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife), said that there were no restrictions on tourism in buffer area.“Tourists can enjoy jungle safari in buffer zone of TATR on the internal routes, depending on the condition of roads. In case of bad condition, tourists would not be allowed to enter in that area,” he added.

Tourists can enjoy tourism in the buffer from Agarzari, Junona, Dewhada gates towards Moharli side and Alizanza, Navegaon and Madnapur gates towards Kolara side. It is reported that as many as 48 vehicles from Moharli side and 36 from Kolara side are allowed to enter in daily. Tigers, tigresses or cubs are sighted many times in this buffer area, that is more than the sightings in the core areas of other tiger reserves in Vidarbha. This means, guides, Gypsy drivers and local youths can earn their livelihood during monsoon to some extent in these buffer areas, depending on road conditions then.

Similarly, the core area of Pench Tiger Reserve would also be kept closed for tourism during monsoon. Sillari, Khursapar, Saleghat and Chorbauli entry points come under core area of the park. However, Ravikiran Govekar, Field Director, said that he was collecting field information on roads in buffer area and submit a proposal to the higher authorities in two days. However, there is no scope for tourism in buffer from Paoni gate while there is less scope for tourism from Nagulwadi gate, where hilly terrain comes as a hindrance. Govekar said, the roads entering Umrer-Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary from Kuhi, Paoni and Umrer are also in bad condition, making it difficult to continue jungle safari. However, a decision would be taken shortly, he added.

As per the guidelines by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the authorities concerned should keep tourist activities closed in the core area of a tiger reserve. However, there are no specific norms on tourism in buffer area during monsoon. It is the discretion of the authorities concerned on buffer. The parks are kept closed during monsoon in view of regeneration of forest and breeding season of wild animals. A wildlife lover, however, has questioned the move to keep the buffer area open for tourists. “Is there no regeneration and breeding during monsoon in buffer area,” he asked as he criticised the department for finding ways to accommodate tourists. “How would the department conserve wildlife in such a situation, especially when tourism is allowed for the rest nine months in a year,” he further said.