Kaziranga to be opened to tourists from Nov 1
Guwahati: Assam's Kaziranga National Park, which is closed for tourists annually from June to October due to the rains, is to be opened from Nov 1, the park director said Friday.
"Repairing and maintenance of roads and other infrastructure which were damaged by floods are currently on inside the park," said N.K. Vasu while adding that tourists may, however, have to wait for a few days to visit the whole park as some low-lying areas are still under water.
Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in Assam for domestic and foreign tourists, mainly due to the one-horned rhinos.
According to government data, the park has been recording an increasing number of tourists every year.
Last season, a total of around 1.25 lakh foreign and domestic tourists visited the park, officials said.
Kaziranga has been in the news headlines for the last several weeks due to unabated incidents of rhino poaching, forcing the Assam government to press for a CBI inquiry into the cases of rhino poaching in the last three years.
Assam Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain had earlier said that a total of 42 rhinos were killed in and around the park this year, out of which 15 were killed by poachers. The Assam government had also announced a bounty of Rs.5 lakh each for information on poachers in Kaziranga and other protected areas of the state.
The forest department had also sent 150 personnel of the elite force, Assam Forest Protection Force (AFPF) to the park earlier this month for better protection of the rhinos and other wildlife in the park.
Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natrajan had also visited the park recently and announced a slew of measures for the protection of its wildlife, including sanctioning of an unmanned aircraft for better monitoring of the park.