Unlock 1.0: Tadoba, Pench to open from July 1, but with restrictions

Updated: Jun 26, 2020, 07:24 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

Tiger safaris to be allowed only in buffer zones; masks, sanitizers made mandatory for everyone

As per the new rules, six vehicles will be allowed through each buffer zone. File pic/ Pradeep Dhivar
As per the new rules, six vehicles will be allowed through each buffer zone. File pic/ Pradeep Dhivar

There's some good news for the wildlife lovers who have been wanting to visit the tiger reserves. Maharashtra Forest Department has decided to open Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) and Pench Tiger Reserve for tourists from July 1 with certain restrictions.

Talking to mid-day, a senior Forest Department official said, "We are partly opening the TATR and Pench from July 1 with certain restrictions and all the precautions will be taken as per the government institutions."

Welcoming the move, wildlife conservationist Kedar Gore from The Corbett Foundation said, "If they are opening buffer zones, then there is no problem. In fact, this will help in providing livelihoods to local communities who have been associated with wildlife tourism."

A letter by Chief Conservator of Forest and Field Director of TATR states, "The Chief Wildlife Warden and Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) has given orders to open the tiger reserve from July 1. The time of the safari will be from 6.30 am to 10.00 am and from 14.00 am to 17.30 pm. Fee for each safari will be R2,200 while the guiding fee will be Rs 350 and the entrance fee per gypsy will be Rs 1,000."

"Six gypsy vehicles will be allowed through each buffer zone. Body temperature of tourists will be checked before allowing through the entrance,"states
the letter.

It will be mandatory for tourists to wear masks before entering the reserve. Tourists without masks will not be allowed to enter under any circumstances and they will have to get their own masks and will also be responsible to dispose of the used masks, gloves, water bottles.

Gypsy owners will be required to keep sanitizers for tourists in their vehicles before arriving at the entrance. Owners too shall have to wear masks during the safari. Furthermore, they will be responsible for disinfecting the gypsy after each safari. "From the viewpoint of wildlife, limited vehicle entry will do no harm, provided park authority instructions are strictly followed. But for safety, visitors and guides will need to take extraordinary precautions," said wildlife conservationist Bittu Sahgal, sanctuary nature foundation.

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