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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Now, entry in Pench, Nagzira to cost more

Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN | Apr 26, 2012, 06.10AM IST NAGPUR: Close on the heels of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) jacking up rates for tourists, Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) and Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary have followed suit. In Nagzira, the guide fee has been doubled from Rs 100 to Rs 200 from April 24. The fee hike in PTR will come into force from May 1, 2012. Now a group of six will have shell out Rs 370 in Nagzira. It will include Rs 200 towards guide fee and Rs 170 towards entry (Rs 20 per person), vehicle (Rs 50) and camera (Rs 5). The fees will be charged per entry. "We have not hiked the gate fees. The guide fee has been doubled to benefit local people who play an important role in protecting the sanctuary," said M S Reddy, conservator of forest (CF) for Gondia Wildlife Division. He added that the instructions were passed on by principal secretary (forest) Praveen Pardeshi during his visit to Nagzira on Saturday and Sunday. "Taking a cue from Nagzira, we may also hike guide fee in Bor and Tipeshwar," said A Ashraf, chief conservator of forests (CCF) and field director for PTR. Ashraf said the executive committee of Pench Tiger Conservation Foundation (TCF) on Wednesday had already decided to increase entry fee per vehicle to Rs 300. In addition, guide fee of Rs 200 will have to be paid. It comes to Rs 500 per vehicle now. "For 10 or more persons, including driver and guide, an additional Rs 22 per person will be charged," Ashraf added. "The fee will be applicable to capacity of the vehicle as approved by the regional transport office (RTO). The tourists should keep one seat vacant for guide," Ashraf said. Fee for eco-hut has also been increased from Rs 400 per day to Rs 500. The meeting did not discuss entry fee for students. On October 19, 2011, the governing body of tiger conservation foundations headed by forest minister Patangrao Kadam, had increased guides fee from Rs 100 to Rs 200 per trip in three tiger reserves - Pench, Tadoba and Melghat. The new rate has already come into force in reserves and now sanctuaries too are implementing it. The Maharashtra State Sanctuaries Guides Union (MSSGU) members have hailed the move. "Even as inflation flared, guides used to get Rs 100 per trip only. The demand to revise the fee was pending for long. There will be no discrimination too, as guides now operate as per roster system," said Prakash Kumre and Puresh Kodape, both guides in Nagzira. Pay more for tigers Tadoba-Andhari: Rs 700 Pench Tiger Reserve: Rs 500 Melghat, Tipeshwar, Bor, Navegaon, Nagzira and other PAs: Rs 375 (Sanctuary fee includes Rs 20 for adults, Rs 10 for children, Rs 50 for vehicle and Rs 5 per camera) Tiger capital issue in LS Congress MP from Nagpur Vilas Muttemwar, on Wednesday, raised the issue of promoting Nagpur as the 'world tiger capital' in Lok Sabha under Rule 377. "Nagpur has immense potential to emerge as a gateway for eco-tourism, especially tiger tourism at global level. The aim of promoting Nagpur as world tiger capital is to make it a safe haven for tigers in the Central Indian landscape," Muttemwar told the Lok Sabha.

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