Amid Tigress Sundari fear, tourist inflow to Satkosia drops

Angul: The Satkosia sanctuary which once used to be one of the preferred tourist destinations throughout the year, now wears a deserted look even though the picnic season has reached its peak in the State. The large-scale violence, which erupted in the region after tigress Sundari killed two villagers a couple of months ago, has led to sharp fall in the number of tourist arrivals here.

The beat house at Hatibari and range office at Tikarpada were vandalised after a woman was allegedly killed by tigress Sundari in the month of September. However, steps are yet to be taken for restoring the facilities which has led to resentment among tourists.

“We had come to explore the nature but as most of the facilities and property has been gutted, we had to return without spending much time,” said Supriya Jena, a visitor.

“If there are no facilities and nothing to see, why the tourists will come here,” questioned Kartik Sahu, another tourist said.

Ramkrushna Sahu, a local shop owner claimed that the poor turnout of visitors has affected the overall business in the region.

“I used to earn Rs 2,000 per day but the business has come down to Rs 500 to Rs 600 per day,” said Sahu.

Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and field director of Satkosia Tiger Project, Sudarshan Panda informed that most of the infrastructure including rest house were torched for which the tourists are facing problems. “We are taking steps to repair the facilities at the earliest,” said Panda.