Published on : Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Domestic and foreign tourists cautious regarding the pandemic have largely avoided the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR) where elephant safari resumed from Sunday.
However, this activity has mostly been enjoyed by local people and visitors from elsewhere in Assam and its adjoining north-eastern states.
The KNPTR is the world’s safest address for the one-horned rhinoceros. It reopened on October 21 after being closed for seven months. The annual tourist season for the park is from October-April but the last season had ended hastily due to the COVID-19 lockdown in March.
“Elephant safari is one of the major attractions of the park. We started the safari from today [Sunday] but had to reduce the number of seats from 60 to 40 per day in order to maintain physical distance,” said KNPTR Director P. Sivakumar.
The KNPTR also carries on jeep safaris. Assam Forest officials said that locals are also traveling to other popular wildlife reserves like the Manas National Park and the Nameri National Park “possibly because the tourist pressure is less this time”.
KNPTR officials opined that the park earns average annual revenue of Rs. 5.2 crore that takes care of maintenance and salaries of the casual staff. Tourism in Assam suffered a double blow due to the violent agitation against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in December 2019 before the pandemic struck.
Tags: Kaziranga National Park