Forest Staff to patrol Dam premises to reassure tourists
Srirangapatna: After over a month of being shut for tourists following leopard scare, the famous Brindavan Gardens and the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam will finally open today evening. Staff from the Forest Department will be deployed as a precaution and to reassure visitors that the Dam premises is safe.
The leopard was first sighted on Oct. 22 and later, it was spotted a couple of times in the North side of the Dam and even the South entrance. The Dam was declared out of bounds for tourists on Nov. 6. Continuously, the Dam and the Brindavan Gardens were closed for 29 days.
Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited (CNNL) Assistant Executive Engineer Farooq Abu confirmed to Star of Mysore this morning that the Dam and the Gardens will open for tourists this evening.
“Based on the direction from the higher authorities of CNNL and the Forest Department, we have arrived at a conclusion to open the Dam. We do not have leopard scare in the South Gate. As North Gate is an issue as the feline has been spotted there a couple of times, we will deploy our staff and Forest Department staff as a reassurance for the tourists,” he said.
In all, over 12 to 13 staff will continuously patrol and monitor the Dam premises and even create awareness among visitors. “We are not taking any chances here as personnel from Srirangapatna and Pandavapura will be deployed at the South Gate too,” he added.
The crisis situation unfolded with the repeated sightings of the leopard at places where there is constant human movement along the walking paths of the Brindavan Gardens. The North Gate is frequented by tourists as it has the attractive musical fountain and mesmerising lightings.
Despite many efforts by the Forest Department including combing operations and clearing of bushes at entry points from the forest side, the leopard had remained elusive.
Both the Forest Department and the CNNL were under pressure to reopen the tourist attraction and were subjected to intense criticism by both the public and elected representatives. They had feared that if the Dam remained closed for long duration, its reputation would be harmed and it would be tough to win back tourists.
As a last resort, the Forest Department was planning to apprise the Mandya District Administration with a detailed report about the efforts to trap the leopard and leave the decision of reopening the Brindavan Gardens to the Deputy Commissioner.
But a decision was taken this morning to open the Dam from today as the leopard was not spotted in the last 20 days except for a CCTV image where the feline was found near the North Gate trying to catch a porcupine.