Pench Safari Resumes: Maharashtra’s PTR Reverses Decision Amidst Minister’s Visit

Nagpur: In a surprising turn of events, the Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Maharashtra has decided to reinstate safari bookings at the Sillari entry gate on February 16. The initial cancellation, prompted by the official tour of Maharashtra’s Forest and Cultural Minister, Sudhir Mungantiwar, had left many tourists dismayed. However, the park management’s reconsideration brings relief to wildlife enthusiasts and visitors alike.

Minister’s Tour Impact

The cancellation was initially enforced due to Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar’s scheduled visit to Pench. The park management had called off all Pench Safari bookings from the Sillari gate on February 16 to accommodate the minister’s presence. Mungantiwar’s day-long tour includes attending a function at the Amaltas Ecotourism Complex in Sillari, where he will unveil various initiatives undertaken by the tiger reserve in recent times. With over 500 locals and forest staff expected to attend, the decision aimed to streamline the park’s operations during the minister’s visit.

Tourist Discontent

The abrupt decision left tourists, who had pre-booked safaris, in a state of shock. Himanshu Bagde, a visitor, expressed his dissatisfaction, having already invested Rs1.20 lakh in safari fees, logistics, and flight tickets. Bagde remarked, “Cancelling the safari would have been completely unjustified. It is good that the park management reversed its decision.”

Reversal of Decision

Pench’s Deputy Director, Prabhu Nath Shukla, clarified the revised plan. Morning safaris from the Sillari gate would be permitted on February 16, providing respite to those who had planned their wildlife excursions in advance. However, the evening round has been regrettably canceled. Shukla assured that safaris from other entry gates like Chorbahuli and Khursapaar would proceed as scheduled. Visitors with evening safari bookings on February 16 from Sillari gate were given alternatives – they could opt for Khursapar gate or enjoy a morning safari on February 17. Shukla emphasized the park’s commitment to ensuring that visitors could still experience the beauty of Pench’s wildlife.

The Pench Tiger Reserve’s decision to reverse the cancellation demonstrates a balanced approach between conservation efforts and visitor satisfaction. As Maharashtra’s PTR (Pench Tiger Reserve) continues to attract wildlife enthusiasts, such instances highlight the delicate balance between wildlife management and accommodating official engagements. Tourists can now look forward to exploring the rich biodiversity of Pench, and the park management’s flexibility ensures that the impact on their plans is minimized.

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