KOLKATA: Forests in West Bengal will be opened for tourists from September 23, officials said on Thursday.
Every year the forests close down for two months due to the monsoon -- from July 15 to September 15, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic the forests have been out of bounds for tourists since the beginning of the lockdown in March, they said.
The state government decided to open the forests ahead of the festive season as the prolonged closure was bleeding the tourism economy, they added.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Ravikant Sinha said the decision to open the forests was taken at a meeting chaired by Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee on Wednesday.
He said guidelines will be issued for tourists and the details will be decided at a meeting on Friday.
Banerjee had earlier said that the government was working out modalities to open forests and national parks for tourists during the festive season.