Mysore/Mysuru: Donning camouflage clothing that included green T-shirt, jacket, hat and khaki trouser, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went on a safari at Bandipur Tiger Reserve (BTR) near Gundlupet in Chamarajanagar this morning.
In the two-hour-long journey, exploring 22-km of core forest area on safari, the PM came across three big elephant herds, a tusker, 25 to 30 Indian gaurs, sambars and spotted deer (which were frequently found in large numbers from the launch to end point of safari).
However, the huge disappointment was the non-sighting of the tiger, as the very purpose of visit of the Prime Minister was to attend the inaugural session of commemoration of 50 years of Project Tiger in India.
PM Modi, who embarked on a safari from the Old Reception Counter in Bandipur at about 7.45 am, was seated next to the Forest Department’s jeep driver Madhusudhan, in the front seat, with two Special Protection Group (SPG) personnel in the rear seat. The PM’s vehicle was followed by a convoy of nine vehicles that included those of SPG, ADGP (Law and Order) Alok Kumar, Chamarajanagar Deputy Commissioner D.S. Ramesh, Superintendent of Police Padmini Sahoo, District Health Office (DHO) staff and ambulance.
After starting from the Reception Counter, the PM stopped at Bolugudda, the highly elevated area in the whole of Bandipur, having Anti-Poaching Camp for sometime, to espy the rich flora and fauna. The PM peeked into the scenic beauty of the forest through a binocular and also a lens camera, from where even the nearby Gopalaswamy Hills could be seen.
Later, the PM on safari passed through Hulikal Circle, Marigudi Circle, Ujjani Road and Anti-Poaching Camp at Maraluhalla, before crossing Kakkanalla check-post at Karnataka – Tamil Nadu border to reach Masinagudi, at about 10.05 am, where a temporary helipad had been built. From here, the PM flew towards Theppakadu helipad and visited Theppakadu Elephant Camp at Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu, by road.
Earlier, Modi arrived at the temporary helipad at Melukamanahalli in Bandipur, in an IAF helicopter, from Mysuru Airport at 7.20 am.
On his arrival, the PM was greeted by N.S. Murali, Inspector General of Forest (IGF), National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA, Southern Zone), Bengaluru and senior IFS officer Subramani.
People gathered on either side of VVIP route, raised slogans like ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, ‘Modi Ki Jai’ as the PM’s convoy passed from the temporary helipad to Reception Counter, a distance of 7 kms in Bandipur.
Heavy security was in place, with armed guards positioned at vantage locations, along with the local Police and Forest personnel during Modi’s visit.
Logo by Nanjangud artist
While on safari, PM Narendra Modi was wearing a jacket with a logo of Bandipur Tiger Reserve that was designed by artist B. Anil Kumar of Nanjangud way back in 2012 itself.
No tiger, Modi cracks a joke
Prime Minister Modi, who could not sight big cats during his two-hour safari at Bandipur Tiger Reserve this morning, cracked a joke, with SPG personnel being the butt of it. According to those privy to conversation, Modi jocularly said, “In the name of tight security you (SPG) have driven away all tigers and leopards in the forest.”