Ecotourism session for Uttar Pradesh wildlife sanctuaries set to begin today

  • | Saturday | 18th November, 2023

PILIBHIT: A seven-month ecotourism session for tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries in Uttar Pradesh for 2023-24 is set to begin on Wednesday. According to officials, UP Forest Corporation, responsible for governing ecotourism in the state, allowed a considerable reduction in charges for jungle safaris and accommodations at departmental facilities compared to previous years, to attract a larger crowd.The forest department has put in place enhanced facilities for visitors with an increased number of jungle safari vehicles and trained tourist guides.General manager of state forest corporation, PP Singh, told TOI that major relief was extended to Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR), including three main components -- Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Dudhwa National Park and Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary. The relaxations extend to almost aspect of tourism, including accommodation, transportation, guides, entry fee, vehicle entry fee, boating in reservoirs, etc. A cottage in DNP will be available for Rs 5,000 per local tourist compared to the previous tariff of Rs 5,300. A foreigner will now pay Rs 14,000 per person compared to Rs 15,400 earlier, Singh said.In KWS, stay charges at forest cottages have been dropped by Rs 900 to Rs 10,000 per foreigner this season compared to the previousRs 10,900. Likewise, local tourists who prefer to stay at forest dormitories at DNP and Motipur forest region will now pay Rs 1,300 per head, and foreigners will pay Rs 3,600. Earlier, they paid Rs 1,800 and Rs 5,500 respectively, Singh added.However, wildlife lovers, especially those interested in photography, have sharply criticised high charges for cameras, photography, and film or documentary shooting during visits.A still digital camera will be charged Rs 500 for an Indian and Rs 3,000 for a foreigner. A commercial movie camera will be charged Rs 10,000 from an Indian tourist and Rs 25,000 from a foreigner. A wildlife documentary-maker will need to pay Rs 30,000 (local) and Rs 60,000 (foreigner). Film-making on wildlife will be subject to payment of Rs 5 lakh from an Indian and Rs 10 lakh from a foreigner.Ravi Kapoor, a Lucknow-based wildlife photographer, said, Jungle safari will be incomplete without photography and shooting videos. A camera preserves memories of sightseeing in the jungle which brings tourists closer to wildlife. The extremely inflated rates of photography and other film shooting will discourage tourists interest and diminish their enthusiasm for eco-tourism.We also published the following articles recentlyKtaka wildlife warden reviews tiger operationA former gram panchayat member was mauled to death by a tiger in Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Mysuru, Karnataka. This is the second incident of a tiger attack in less than a week in the area. The chief wildlife warden visited the spot and reviewed the preparations to catch the tiger. Two elephants have been roped in for the operation, and camera traps and cages have been set up. In a separate incident, an image of a tiger was captured in camera traps, and efforts are being made to rescue it.Plan to convert Trombay jetty into eco-tourism hubThe BMC is planning to transform the Trombay jetty by developing eco-tourism activities and exploring the surrounding ecology. The project includes creating facilities such as a butterfly garden, nature interpretation center, crab and turtle ponds, birdwatch towers, and more. The jetty offers views of Navi Mumbai and the Elephanta caves and attracts various migratory birds. The BMC aims to develop the area without disturbing the environment and fishing activities, and plans to use electric carts and solar power. Approvals have been sought from various authorities for the project.MP foresters may have darted wrong killer tigerForest officers in Madhya Pradesh may have darted the wrong tiger while trying to capture a man-eating tiger that has killed six people in the past six weeks near the Pench Tiger Reserve. After darting a tiger believed to be responsible for the killings, another woman was killed by a tiger a few hours later in the same area. Villagers are now threatening to boycott the election unless the man-eating tiger is caught, and it is suspected that two or three tigers may be involved in the attacks.

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