Mysore: Heeding to the rules laid down by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the Forest Department will be shifting the safari and other tourism activities from inside the Bandipur forest to Melukamanahalli Gate and the safari will function from the new location from June 2.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, Bandipur Project Tiger Director T. Balachandra said that only 20 percent of tourists who come to Bandipur would go on safari and the rest 80 percent used the place as a pit stop to refresh themselves. This was resulting in a lot of vehicles stopping inside the forest and the noise made by the people and vehicles were disturbing the wildlife.
Though, a two acre land adjacent to NH-181 near Melukamanahalli Gate was levelled last year, the works had stopped, he said and added that now, only a ticket counter, parking place and internet facility would be made at the new location and rest of the infrastructure would be constructed in phases.
Balachandra said that it would take about 15 minutes to reach the old reception building in Bandipur from the new location and 15 minutes to come back, hence the duration of the safari timing has been increased to 30 minutes.
Even though the safari and other tourist activities will be shifted to the new location, the cottage facilities for tourists would continue in Bandipur and the old reception would be used only for booking for cottages.
Earlier, the safari used to commence from 6.30 am, 7.30 am, 8.30 am, 3.30 pm, 4.30 pm and 5.30 pm from Bandipur, but from June 2, the safari would commence from 6 am, 7.30 am, 8 am, 2.30 pm, 4 pm and 5 pm from Melukamanahalli Gate. The timings of the safari would be changed later.