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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New tourism route in Tadoba buffer soon

Mazhar Ali, TNN | May 15, 2012, 01.21AM IST CHANDRAPUR: In a move that is sure to ease some tourist pressure from the near-saturated Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), the buffer administration of TATR has decided to open a new route for tourists in the buffer area which has a good density of wildlife and scenic beauty. While safari in the buffer area will be cheaper than that inside TATR, tourists can also enjoy some special perks which are not allowed inside the tiger reserve on this new route. Tourism in the buffer area is being promoted with the sole objective of economical development of buffer villages and providing employment to local youths. The new 14-km-long tourist route will begin from Navargaon Chauki and end at Jakana gate near Junona village in the buffer area. "Local eco-development committees of Devada and Junona village will shoulder the responsibility of tourism on this route. While they will charge the gate fees from tourists, youths from the villages will take up the job of guides for the safari. Modalities over the gate fees and timings of the safari are being finalized. Tourism in the buffer zone would start in the next 10 days," said Chandrapur forest division DCF P Kalyankumar. The forest department has added a five-km patch of road to the existing nine-km road on this exclusive tourist road. Three water holes fall along this route whose forest and wildlife density is as good as that inside the tiger reserve. "Spillover tourists of TATR could be accommodated on this new buffer route. While the forest along the route has good scenic beauty, tourists can even spot a tiger and other wild animals in the buffer zone," said Kalyankumar. There would be no restriction on the number of vehicles on this new route. Visitors can take the buffer ride from either points at Navargaon Chauki or Jakana gate. "Tourists can enjoy snacks and coffee at some specific points on the route. We even have plans of plying a mobile snack stall along the route, so that tourists can buy snacks midway if they want," he said. This new buffer route will be open for the tourists even during the monsoon, when safari inside the TATR is closed. Based upon the experience gained from opening of this new route, the forest department has plans of opening two more tourists routes in the buffer area soon. Now, enjoy wildlife from machan The forest department is going to add a new feature of machan tourism to the wildlife tourism in the buffer area of TATR. Machan tourism will be taken up in Agarzari forest, located along the banks of Irai dam in the buffer area. The eco-development committee of Agarzari will shoulder the responsibility of machan tourism. "We have identified four machans in the dense jungle along the bank of Irai dam for the activity. Guides from Agarzari village will take tourists to the machans in the morning and stay with them for the specified time slot. Initially, machan tourism will be taken up during day time. Based upon its outcome and response of tourists, we may consider machan tourism during the night in the future," said DCF Kalyankumar. Tourist guides from the village are being trained in identification of birds which come in a large number to the dam. Being a perennial source of water for the entire wildlife population in the area, tigers and leopards also visit the Irai reservoir. Apart from the fun of staying on machan in vicinity of wildlife, tourist will have the additional pleasure of around 15-km-long ride up to the machans through the thick jungle. Formalities for launching machan tourism are in the final stages and this new tourist attraction is likely to begin in next 10 days, said Kalyankumar.

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