Dehradun, November 18
Stay at Corbett will now no more be a one-night affair. The Corbett authorities have made a two-night stay at Corbett mandatory for tourists visiting Corbett so as to ensure that only serious wildlife lover comes to the park.

Tiger-famous Corbett in recent times has been facing a large number of visitors leading to questions often being raised about the park's tourist intake capacity. Most of these tourists are either day tourists or those who wish to spend just one night at Corbett and want to have quick visit, which often leads to more of commotion inside the park. These tourists intend to see maximum wildlife, including tigers, within a short time span.
Corbett Director RK Mishra asserted that those tourists who wanted to stay overnight would now have to at least stay for two nights. He said this condition had been introduced solely to attract only serious wildlife-lover tourists and prevent unnecessary crowding in the tiger reserve.
Hem Singh Gehlot, who had been working in Corbett for long, welcomes the minimum two-night stay condition. "Certainly, only serious tourists must go to a tiger reserve like Corbett. This is necessary when the park is facing unnecessary pressure of tourists and voices are being raised to regulate tourism inside the park," he pointed out.
"Many tourists arrive during the evening and leave the subsequent day after staying just for a night. This leads to unnecessary crowding in the tiger reserve," Gehlot pointed out, adding that it was also to the benefit of the arriving tourists as a two-night stay would also redress their complaint of fewer sightings of tigers.
Uttarakhand Principal Chief Conservator of Forests RBS Rawat, too, asserts the Corbett Director's decision of minimum two nights' stay was guided by National Tiger Conservation Authority norms that have been very strict in regulating tourism in tiger reserves of the country.
However, those engaged in tourism in Corbett assert that such two- night stay pre-conditions can take small-budget tourists away from Corbett. Munish Kumar, a local villager in Ramnagar, termed Corbett authorities' decision to make minimum two-night stay at Corbett as both against tourists and also those linked to petty tourist -linked jobs of nature guides and Gypsy drivers. "It seems Corbett authorities want to keep the middle class at a distance from the tiger reserve and only wants to invite high-end tourists," Munish argued. "On an average two tourists spend nearly Rs 8,000, while staying in Corbett overnight, which apart from accommodation charge, includes guide charge, Gypsy charge and other food bills. By making two nights' stay compulsory, visiting Corbett will be out of the budgets of many," he added. He even asserted that those engaged in tourism-linked activities in Corbett were not happy with the decision and were even planning an agitation.
Tiger-famous Corbett is visited by nearly two lakh tourists annually, which includes visitors from across the country and abroad.

Jotirmay Thapliyal
Tribune News Service

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