Bhitarkanika to be reopened for tourists from tomorrow: Govt

Kendrapara: Announcing to reopen Bhitarkanika National Park for visitors from tomorrow, Odisha government on Sunday imposed prohibitory order on the night stay besides making identity proof mandatory for tourists entry, officials said.
The national park was closed for tourists on law and order issue since January 10 following a group of miscreants attacking forest officials on duty.
The visitors would now have to carry identity proof with themselves to gain access to the park areas, a senior official said, adding, it was mandatory for getting an entry pass.
"The closure notice is being withdrawn from tomorrow. Tourists and visitors would now be allowed for day visit to the park only. Entry permits to be issued to visitors would remain effective from dawn-to-dusk," said Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove Forest Officer, Manoj Kumar Mahapatra.
Provision for night stay at the tourist bungalows has been withdrawn because of security reason. The restriction is applicable to both domestic and international tourists, he said.
Travel operators, however, disapproved the government's restriction on night stay inside the sanctuary.
"Restriction on night stay will drastically reduce inflow of tourists to this site. Those who savour eco-tourism love to spend night in wetland sites. A travel to Bhitarkanika is a time-consuming affair. Tourists will have to bear the stress and strain without rest," said Pradeep Das, a local travel operator.
However, according to sources, the restriction on night-stay would remain in force for a temporary period.