HUBBALLI: Tourists hoping to take in a wildlife safari in the rain at Kali Tiger Reserve (KTR) in Dandeli are returning disappointed, with the safari being shut for more than three weeks due to potholes and slushy tracks. The safari tracks in the tourism zone of KTR at Pansoli wildlife range, ravaged by the recent rain, have developed potholes and slushy points, and vehicluar movement has become difficult.
While heavy rainfall is the main reason, the lack of coordination between the forest department and the Eco-Development Committee (EDC), which runs the safari, is also responsible, say locals. For instance, halting safaris not only harms wildlife tourism in KTR but also hits affects the opinion about safaris in Dandeli. Despite poor sightings, safari trips in Dandeli have always had visitors, even during the monsoon. But due to lack of maintenance of safari tracks, there are large craters at many points.
Despite repeated requests to ready the tracks before the monsoon, the suggestions were not implemented, said safari drivers. A senior official from Kali Tiger Reserve (KTR), however, said safaris are closed during the monsoon, and this year, due to heavy rain, the road is not motorable.
“Due to waterlogging, the road is completely damaged at several points. There is always the risk of a safari vehicle getting stuck in a pothole or a crater. Reopening the safari may take more time,” the official said.