Those who have a love for the wild may get to see the one-horned rhinos of Kaziranga National Park (KNP) this Durga Puja. The KNP is likely to be “partly” opened for tourists during the almost round the corner Durga Puja festival provided there is no further heavy rainfall and repairing of roads inside the world-famed national park is completed on time.
A report published in the The Assam Tribune quoted sources as saying that the officials are “optimistic” that if there is no further natural calamity like flood or heavy rainfall, then a part of the tourist route inside the Park may be opened for the tourists during Durga Puja like in the previous year.
The report further quoted Uttam Saikia, Wildlife Warden of Kaziranga as saying that before opening the national park, forest officials must study the ground situation carefully since some portion of the roads got damaged recently due to incessant rainfall a few days back. “Roads and other infrastructure which were damaged must be repaired. Secondly, the wild animals are already under biotic pressure since some portions of Kaziranga forests remain submerged due to incessant rainfall. If the weather condition improves and road repairing works are completed on time, then a portion of the Park can be opened for the tourists during Durga Puja,” he said.
A private elephant operator felt that this season there will be more tourist footfall, both international and domestic, compared to last year. So, the State Forest Department must complete the road repairing works on time so that tourists can enjoy jeep safari.
He added that there was urgent need of a tourist information centre at Kohora Chariali. Most of the low-budget foreign tourists who prefer to travel by bus become confused and uncomfortable once they reach Kaziranga due to lack of a proper information centre. Although there is an office of Assam Tourism-cum-guest house, but it is far away from Kohora Chariali.