DEHRADUN: Corbett Tiger Reserve has decided to do away with VIP quota booking as the protected sanctuary was thrown open for tourists on Friday.
The officials from the reserve said that there were a number of rooms reserved for NRIs and foreign tourists along with VIPs.
Hatao Singh Rawat, state forest minister of Uttarakhand said, "The steps are being taken to promote eco-tourism so that focus remains of protecting the environment as well as enhancing facilities for tourists coming from across the world."
The step has been taken to prevent fraudulent bookings by travel agents, said the officials.
"The separate quota for the VIPs has been removed keeping in mind the common tourists. We are committed to stop fraudulent activities in the name of Corbett Tiger Reserve," said Rahul, the director of the reserve.
The administration has also decided to take only one booking from one mobile number to stop any malpractices of booking the night stay, day safari and selling it to the third party at exorbitant prices.
Earlier, in June this year, the reserve administration, in an unprecedented move citing "brazen abuse of official position for seeking favor for personal ends" issued directions that any communication received through use of official positions will not be considered.
The reserve opens it's six zones for day safari and night stay from November 15 to June 15 every year. In this duration, the officials get numerous requests from officers, judges, bureaucrats and several other 'VIPs' for night stay and day safari.
Such high profile requests leave the staff as well as administration struggling to attend those VIPs as a large number of staff is used up into the service.
The authorities in June this year had also started a crackdown on websites that were cheating tourists for night stay, safari bookings and other facilities in the name of the official website of the protected sanctuary.
Total 15 such websites were identified and had been served legal notices in the process.
Night stay and day safari in the reserve is always in demand for bookings but has limited availability.