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Bhitarkanika Reopens For Visitors, Take A Look At The Restrictions Imposed

Kendrapara: After almost a seven-month hiatus, Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara reopened from Thursday (today) for tourists/visitors to enjoy the flora and fauna. The park was closed for tourists and visitors since enforcement of the nation-wide lockdown in March this year in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak.

As per the authorities, only those tourists/visitors booking cottages in Dangamal for night-stay will be allowed inside the national park under strict compliance of Covid guidelines. No other visitor is allowed to enter the park during day time.

Reportedly, there are 16 cottages in Dangamal and people who have plans to visit Bhitarkanika can book cottages at the Odisha eco-tourism website. Sources said the cottages at Gupti and Habalikhati have not been included for stay now.

Now that the park has been thrown open to visitors again, special arrangements are being made at the park. Cottages and boats would be sanitised at frequent intervals, while visitors will ensure they wear masks and maintain physical distancing during their stay.

On the other hand, the local unions have opposed the decision of the authorities to only allow only the visitors booking cottages for night halt. Citing that such a decision will restrict locals, the unions have threatened to launch protests.

“Opening Bhitarkanika with a restriction on the visit of local people is an arbitrary decision. All animal and nature lovers would love to visit the park taking all Covid precautionary measures. If the government doesn’t revise the decision, Bhitarkanika Surakshya Manch will launch massive protest,” said Manch president Bhaskar Routray.

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