For poor locals, a ride to Ranganathittu
By B K Lakshmikantha | ENS | Published: 01st August 2013 07:51 AM |
Tourists throng the Ranganathittu bird sanctuary in lakhs to see birds from all over the world, every year. But the poor are rarely among them. Even people from neighbouring villages around Ranganathittu have not visited the famous bird sanctuary. Reason: the lack of adequate transport facilities to the tourist spot.
In an effort to overcome this shortcoming, the Forest Department has written to the Transport Department seeking bus services exclusively to the sanctuary that can be availed by the poor.
Forest Department Wildlife Division (Mysore) DCF S N Devaraj said he noticed that only people who have vehicles visit the sanctuary. “Poor people from the neighbouring villages and districts are not able to come to the sanctuary as they do not have vehicles,’’ he rued.
On an average, more than three lakh tourists visit the sanctuary every year, of whom 29,000 are from foreign countries. “The sanctuary is not only for rich people, but also for the poor who live in villages and cities. If the sanctuary has to develop, the government has to provide cheap and adequate transport facilities,” Devaraj said.
The DCF said that particularly during the Dasara festival season, thousands of people from nearby villages and districts visit Mysore, but are unable to go to Ranganathittu as there is no connectivity. Ranganathittu is three km from Srirangapatna and 16 km from Mysore.
In 2010-11, the revenue generated by the sanctuary was Rs 2.54 crore and in 2011-12, it was Rs 2.37 crore. After the Krishnarajasagar dam, Ranganathittu sanctuary is the second largest revenue generating tourist spot in the state. More than 200 varieties of birds come here every year for breeding. The Wildlife Department is also building a park at the sanctuary acquiring 7.2 acres at a cost of `20 lakh. 22 varieties of flower and fruit saplings are being grown, with an eye to attract local birds.