Enable rooms in Tadoba resorts to be allowed

In an effort to maintain Tadoba’s competitive edge in attracting more visitors, State Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar called on Monday to grant liquor licences for resorts in the Tiger Reserve.

“Tourists from all over the world are coming to Vidarbha for Tiger Tourism. While the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) is a popular tourist destination, tigers are also sighted in the nearby Pench Reserve, Bor, and Umred-Karhandla Tiger Sanctuaries.

Nevertheless, when it comes to facilities available to visitors, Tadoba lags behind in terms of the supply of liquor, “said Wadettiwar, who is also the guardian of Chandrapur. “The possibility of visitors opting for tiger sanctuaries other than those in Chandrapur can not be ruled out because of the ban on liquor in the district,” he said, expressing his determination to take up this matter with the state government.

The Minister also pointed out that although liquor is banned in the whole state of Gujarat, it is made available to tourists there under special provisions. Different relaxation can be provided to the Tadoba resorts to operate permit rooms, he said. Wadettiwar also formally announced the creation of a nine-member committee to examine the outcome of the liquor ban in Chandrapur.

The Committee shall be composed of SP, ZP Chairman, Superintendent of the Excise Department, Prohibition Experts and representatives of the Social Organization. The District Collector would have headed the panel.

The panel will analyze the facts on nine prohibition parameters and submit its report within a month, he said. “After receiving the report, I’m going to take up the issue in the state cabinet,” Wadettiwar said.

Wadettiwar also demanded a survey of the tree plantation carried out in the state last year, in which Sudhir Mungantiwar, then Minister of Forestry, claimed to have planted more than 33 crore groves.

The Minister said he wrote to the Minister of Forestry, Sanjay Rathod, last year seeking a survey of the plantation carried out by the Forest Department and other agencies. “If lapses are found, the investigation should be set up and the action should be taken against the guilty party,” Wadettiwar said. The 33 crore tree plantation campaign was a dream project by former Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar.

“Recently, the Kamal Nath-led Congress Government in Madhya Pradesh carried out a similar survey and found that only 17 of the 7 crore plantations claimed by the BJP government had survived.

All I want to test is how many trees have actually been planted in Maharashtra, how many of them have survived, and what is the survival rate in the Mungantiwar campaign, “Wadettiwar said. He also argued that if the plantation drive turns out to be eyewash and major lapses come to the fore, then the investigation must be carried out.

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