Bengaluru: The State Tourism Department is mulling providing basic facilities like toilets, drinking water and good accommodation facilities at Bandipur Tiger Reserve. Though the Tiger Reserve is governed by the Forest Department, Tourism Department would provide the facilities with an eye on revenues in co-ordination with the Forest Department.
This was announced in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday last by Minister for Tourism, Environment and Ecology C.P. Yogeeshwar. He was responding to a question raised by MLA Niranjan Kumar.
He said that good grants have been received by the Tourism Department in the State Budget and to spend the allocations in a wise manner and to attract more tourists, the Tourism Department will provide facilities, he said.
Often, tourists have complained about the lack of facilities inside the Tiger Reserve that receives thousands of safari-goers every year. Most of the complaints have highlighted lack of bathrooms and drinking water. There are no proper sign boards to reach the cottages and no network services which creates problem to contact anyone.
In the cottages too, the tourists have complained about lack of facilities like dirty bedsheets, blankets despite high staying and safari charges. Bandipur has few options for both affordable and luxurious stay. And with the Government cracking down on illegal resorts around Bandipur and Gopalaswamy Betta, the inconvenience of tourists has only increased.
There are basic facilities including parking and good connectivity to safari-goers at Melukamanahalli Gate and Gopalaswamy Betta, the Minister replied.
“In the Tourism Development Committee meeting held for 2019-2020 season there was a proposal to improve facilities at Bandipur at an estimated cost of Rs. 3.27 crore. The proposal has been submitted to the Department,” he said adding “Though we cannot allow private resorts to come up around Bandipur, we have been taking every step to improve the infrastructure. We hope this will attract more tourists in the coming days.”