Forest department defends hike in booking price for Jhalana jungle safari
Jaipur: Rajasthan forest department has defended its decision to increase entry fee for Jhalana jungle safari in Jaipur and to put a ban on the entry of private vehicles into this reserved forest area.
Officials argued that while the ban was necessary as the entry of private vehicles was not good for the ecological system of the forest area, they have actually reduced the booking price instead of increasing it in several categories.
Deputy conservator of forest Sonal Jorihar said that tourists were able to take their own car into the forest area. It has now been banned.
“Private vehicles for jungle safari are not good for the forest. It had become very difficult to keep an eye on tourists visiting Jhalana in their private vehicles due to lack of manpower. Therefore we decided that only registered vehicles (gypsies) will be allowed entry,” said Jorihar.
Jorihar said that no particular person or institution had benefited from the decision.
“The decision was taken in the interest of public and wildlife,” Jorihar said.
The officer said that earlier the entry fee for gypsies was Rs 800 for gypsies. Now the rate has been reduced to Rs 300.
The entry fee was earlier Rs 100, Rs 800 and Rs 30 per visitor for domestic visitors, foreigners and students respectively. It has not now been reduced to Rs 50, Rs 300 and Rs 20 respectively.
The department has fixed the rates for how much maximum amount of money gypsies can charge visitors.
“A gypsy can’t charge more than Rs 16,00 and can’t accommodate more than six people,” the officer said.
Jorihar said that a complaint could be made with the police if gypsies charged more than the fixed price.
So here is how people coming to visit Jhalana will have to pay:
Gypsy charge: 16,00
Gypsy entry fee: 300
Visitor (per person) entry fee: Rs Rs 50 for domestic tourist, Rs 300 for foreign tourist and Rs 20 for students.
A group of six tourists from India will now pay Rs 2200 to visit Jhalana.
The new rates will come into effect from Monday (May 15, 2017).
Earlier, tourists were charged Rs 350 to take their own cars into the jungle. Besides, the forest department charged Rs 100 and Rs 800 per person as entry fee for domestic and foreign tourists respectively. But from April 25, the ticket price will go up dramatically as tourists will have to hire gypsies to be provided by a private contractor.
Spread over 33 sq km east of Jaipur, the Jhalana forest area is said to have 20 leopards and panthers. Located barely 3.5 km from the World Trade Park, the forest, over the years has become a favourite leopard sighting destination.
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