STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Baripada, 5 December
Here is a piece of good news for the tourists and nature visitors. The authorities of Similipal National Park (SNP) have introduced at least four tented accommodation in Jamunai tourist complex for the tourists to help them gain experience of wilderness.
The regional chief conservator of forest (RCCF) and field director of SNP, Mr Anup Kumar Nayak said that each tent has sufficient space with two beds, a dressing room and a tiled western bathroom.
“The reservation fees are different for domestic tourists and foreigners. An Indian tourist can book it for Rs 500 a day whereas the tariff for a foreign national is Rs 1000,” he said.
RCCF Mr Nayak said at present the Jamuani complex has two suites in the forest rest house having two beds each as many cottages and four tents with a combined accommodation capacity of 25 persons.
Apart from the accommodations, the SNP authorities have focused on providing local delicacies to the tourists, for which 10 contractual cooks and villagers from Jamuani have been selected by the volunteers of Indian Grameen Services.
They are being imparted training in hospitality and food preparation and will be in a position to start the work by the end of the month, he said.
This apart, the tourists can also avail the services of guides at Jamuani for tramping from Jamuani to Brindavan apart from visiting a picturesque waterfall. A 13 seater departmental vehicle with experienced official guide has been made available at Jashipur for the tourists.
“We are trying to encourage foreigners to visit Similipal. If they apply for booking and submit their documents, we will take measures to get the statutory permits from the district administration,” Mr Nayak said.
Similipal National Park has recorded a steep increase in inflow of tourists, both foreign and domestic, bringing cheer to the forest authorities and wildlife lovers.
The park registered 24,657 tourists including 43 foreigners in 2012-13 while their number was 15,367 including 29 from the overseas during 2011-12. The park was closed to the tourists during 2009-10 and 2010-11 following a series of Maoist attacks.
Mr Nayak claimed that there had been a significant rise in collection of revenue from the tourists.
“While nearly Rs 12 lakh was collected from the visitors in 2011-12, the total revenue collected during 2012-13 was over Rs 20 lakh, which included around Rs 26,000 from elephant rides,” he said adding that the elephant riding at Gudgudia gains a good experience to tourists, natural visitors as well as the wildlife lovers.