Jhalana forest in Jaipur to introduce battery-operated vehicles for panther safari
Jaipur: The Rajasthan forest department is planning to introduce battery-operated vehicles in the Jhalana forest area in Jaipur to encourage tourism and wildlife conservation.
Such a vehicle can not only contribute to controlling the pollution but also ensure that animals are not disturbed in their habitat.
A vehicle like a gypsy which is common in forest areas does exactly this hence searching for an alternative has become necessary for the forest department. Thus far, the biggest challenge for the officials had been finding a vehicle that can bear the difficult terrain of forests which is known for bumpy rides.
On Monday, state forest and environment minister, Gajendra Singh Khinvsar, took a ride that has the potential to become a regular feature in many of the state’s forests.
Six people including the minister took a trip in a battery operated vehicle in Jhalana. This vehicle, manufactured by the popular company Mahindra, was operated in low gear and taken to the highest point in the forest. The minister was accompanied by chief forest conservator AK Goyal and his staff. It received a positive response from everyone and the minister has asked for further technical details from the representatives of Mahindra. As of now, the company has delivered only this vehicle to the city and it costs Rs 7 lakhs. Though, the On-road price is expected to be Rs 9 lakhs.
If the deal works out smoothly, it is expected that the gypsy will be replaced by this vehicle. This is sure to excite the tourists who are always on a look out for new ways of exploring the forests.
Not only Jhalana but also the roads of Sariska and Ranthambore forests can soon witness such vehicles. The forest ministry has taken a keen interest in Jhalana ever since the inception of the Panther safari. Meticulous planning and proposals of new concepts, clearly reflect that this forest is being recognized as one of the most important ones with regards to tourism as well as conservation activities by the authorities.
Located in the heart of Jaipur city, this forest is spread over 20 sq km area and is home to around 20 leopards, including four to five cubs, over 120 species of birds, reptiles, and blue bulls, among others. It was in news earlier this year when the state forest department started the wildlife safari in May. Entry of private vehicles to the forest area was also banned to encourage tourism and conservation. A task of fencing and strengthening of boundary walls of the forest area has also been undertaken in phases, which is proposed to be completed by March 2018.