No forest gates open for tourists

Forest dept requests not to crowd sanctuaries
No forest gates open for tourists

Nashik: Taking into account of outbreak of Covid-19 in the district, tourists will have to stay at home for a few more days. The ban on forest tourism, which has been in force since March, will continue to work in Nashik Forest Circle. Tourists are strictly forbidden to enter reserved forest areas including sanctuaries in Nashik, Ahmednagar, Dhule and Yaval forest areas.

The tourists are crowding at the gates of wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests areas in Nashik circle. The tourist flocks are gathering everyday at the Nandurmadhyameshwar bird sanctuary to see the migratory birds. The gates are closed for tourists but still people are coming here in large numbers. The officials have strictly said that the sanctuary will remain close till the decision is made at higher level.

"The migratory birds at Nandurmadhyameshwar have not arrived yet in large numbers, while tourism activities at other places are also closed. Therefore, don't believe any rumours and don't crowd in the forest area," clarified, Anil Anjankar, Chief Conservator Forest of Wildlife Department.

After ordering to avoid crowding in the forest area in state on March 16, the forest department announced a ban on entry to all reserved forest areas and sanctuaries in Nashik division including Kalsubai and Harishchandra Garh sanctuaries. The restrictions are still in effect. Although the doors of the sanctuary have been opened in other parts of the state, forest tourism will remain closed in view of the threat of Covid-19 in Nashik.

The tourists spots like Nandurmadhyameshwar - Nashik, Kalsubai, Harishchandragrh - Ahmednagar, Aner dam - Dhule, Yaval - Jalgaon sanctuaries will remain closed. Meanwhile, a checkpoint is being set up at the reserved forest area. Some amateur tourists have spread false information about the start of tourism. However, the wildlife department has clarified that there is no such decision taken. Forest officials have been ordered a blockade to stop the tourists on time. Orders have been issued to take legal action under the Forest Act against those violating the rules.

" We have clearly stated before that the Ramsar site, Nandurmadhyameshwar bird sanctuary is closed for any tourist’s activity. People are crowding this place without any reason. It is a request from the forest department to tourists from Nashik and outside not to visit sanctuary. The department will take stricter action if this continues."

- Ashok Kale, Assistant Conservator of Forest, Nandurmadhyameshwar bird sanctuary

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