Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tourists can't enter Indian tiger reserve

Posted by admin on 2006/12/12 0:31:26

Jaipur, Dec 12 (IANS) With a ban on entry of private vehicles in Ranthambore National Park, Indian and foreign tourists are unable to go on a wildlife safari inside the tiger reserve. Tourists are upset at being denied a drive through the national park in the comfort of their vehicles. Monday was the third day of the ban.

Some tourists have already left the place, while others waited in vain hoping that their vehicles would be re-allowed in the park.

Private vehicles were barred following a Rajasthan High Court order on Friday. The court order restrained private owners from operating their vehicles inside the wildlife reserve, 140 km from here.

"I am leaving for Jaipur. I came here on Friday evening but I could not manage to enter the park. They say it is closed due to some court order," Dawn Fraser, a tourist from England, said.

Hoteliers were also seen convincing tourists that entry would soon be allowed in the park. The national park and the tourism department do not operate their vehicles inside the park and only private operators ply their vehicles inside.

"We received an order from the Rajasthan Tourism Department not to allow any private vehicle carrying tourists inside the park as the high court has restrained the entry of private vehicle inside the park. The order came into effect from Saturday morning and no vehicles have been allowed to get into the park," a senior official of forest department said.

Two of the important wildlife destinations in the state - Ranthambore and Sariska - were in the news due to missing tigers.

In November, three new tiger cubs had been spotted. Seven cubs were seen in the last six months. The tiger census conducted in May 2005 reported the existence of 26 tigers in Ranthambore. With the 10 new cubs, the number now stands at 36.

Experts believe that the numbers have increased due to the strong security observed at the wildlife park and also due to the favourable steps taken for their reproduction by forest officials.

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