Nandi Hills, forests out of bounds on New Year

Move to avoid any nuisance during New Years

Published: 25th December 2021 06:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th December 2021 06:43 AM   |  A+A-

Tourists will not be allowed from December 30 to January 2 at Nandi Hills

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Those hoping to bring in the New Year in the forests, may have to be content with the urban jungle. The forest department, citing government protocol and environmental concerns, has put its guesthouses on and around Nandi Hills, and in forest areas across the state, out of bounds of tourists this year too.

This has disappointed many travellers and citizens looking for a break in the wild. Officials from the Karnataka forest department said that on December 31 and January 1, tourists and visitors are not allowed to stay in forest guesthouses because they create a nuisance.

“There have been instances where influential people seek permission to stay, and create a ruckus. They drink, smoke and even misbehave with the staffers. Demand is high this year, because many people were confined to their homes due to the lockdown and restrictions. To ensure there are no untoward incidents, it has been decided that forest guesthouses will not be open for visitors this year also,” said a senior forest department official.

This has not gone down well with many politicians and officials who were keen on a long weekend in a forest guesthouse. Similarly, in Nandi Hills, no bookings are permitted for people to stay in guesthouses atop the hill. Tourists will not be allowed from December 30 to January 2, since the New Year falls on a weekend this year. Morning walkers and cyclists will also not be allowed.

Chikkaballapur DC R Latha said that this year, the government has imposed strict restrictions, keeping in mind rising Omicron cases. Prabhakar M, a techie who was keen to hit the road and spend the New Year in a silent zone, said he was disappointed to learn that forest guesthouses are out of bounds.

However, bookings at many hotels, resorts and home stays across forest areas and on city outskirts are already booked out for New Year’s Eve. “Even as government restrictions are imposed on public parties, there are no restrictions on bookings which are only increasing,” said a hotelier from Mysuru.


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