In a good news for animal lovers, the Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district will be thrown open to tourists from next week i.e. August 5.
The visitors will be allowed to enter the wildlife sanctuary with strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols. However, tourists will not be allowed to spend nights at the park.
The wildlife sanctuary was shut for visitors from May 1 to July 31 in the wake of breeding season of estuarine crocodiles.
“All the areas and boats (government and private) in the national park will be sanitised in the next three-four days following which the Bhitarkanika National Park and Gahirmatha Wildlife Sanctuary will be opened for public from August 5. We expect tourists will strictly follow Covid appropriate behaviour in the park and use mask and sanitizers,” informed Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Jagayandatta Pati on Sunday.
The park and sanctuary will be opened during day time in the initial phase while decision on night stay will be taken by the State headquarters authorities, added the DFO.
Gupti, Dangamal and Hukitola areas in the national park will be open for the tourists, said reports.
Worth mentioning here, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has recently identified four protected areas (PA) in Odisha where eco-tourism can be developed. The places are Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, Chilika (Nalaban) Wildlife Sanctuary, Gahirmatha (Marine) Wildlife Sanctuary and Nandankanan Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Ministry has identified 90 such sites across the country.
(Edited By Ramakant Biswas)