H.D. Kote: H.D. Kote is considered one of the most backward taluks in the district. However, when it comes to New Year celebrations, the resorts in the backwaters of Kabini are fully booked with tourists from outside the States and foreigners coming in droves.
The taluk with rivers, forest, wildlife and green environment in spite of its backwardness is still the preferred destination for tourists, industrialists, politicians and the rich and such people thronging the resorts here for the New Year is proof enough of the region’s popularity.
Some of the well-known resorts the Kabini backwaters include are Jungle Lodge (Kabini River Lodge), Orange County, The Serai, Waterwoods Lodge, The Bison, KAAV Safari Lodge,Discovery Village, Red Earth, The Peepal Tree and a few others have come up like mushrooms around the taluk. While a few are built legally and according to rules, a few others are illegal and continue to operate with impunity.
To celebrate New Year, most of the revellers have booked the rooms online two months in advance in all the resorts around here by paying heavily.
Costly tariffs: Most of the resorts have made special arrangements to ring in the New Year with attractive entertainment programmes. The least rate for a couple per day is Rs.20,000 and the most expensive is Rs.50,000 per day per couple. This year, nearly 1,000 people have booked in all the resorts.
Lacking development: Each resort goes the full length to attract tourists throughout the year and earns crores of rupees. However, the irony is that the infrastructure and basic facilities including the roads to the nearby villages are in a pathetic condition and nobody is bothered to develop them. Besides, the locals are deprived of job opportunities.
Since majority of resort owners are highly influential, the locals, the officials or the authorities do not have the courage to get any work done from them.
It is alleged that most of the resorts do not pay taxes to the Panchayats properly. Also, only people in luxury cars are allowed entry into the resorts, while the locals are refrained from entering the resorts with the security guards shooing them away. The locals allege that this use of force with impunity is because of the nexus between the politicians and the resort owners.
Hope the New Year brings hope for the development of H.D. Kote that matches the facilities in the resorts.
Tourists have come in large numbers to Jungle Lodge in Kabini run in association with the Government. Though all the rooms were booked two to three months in advance, even now hundreds of people call for bookings every day. If people staying in other resorts want to take a safari ride in the forest, they have to go through us.
—Gangada Swamy, Manager, Jungle Lodge, Kharapur