DHENKANAL: In a bold decision to protect the flora and fauna of Kapilas Sanctuary, Dhenkanal Forest Division has clamped a ban on entry of Bol Bom devotees this year. Every year during Sravan month of Odia calendar, lakhs of devotees go through the 12,550-ha sanctuary to cut short the distance to Kapilas temple.
The Forest Division authorities have decided to intensify patrolling in and around the sanctuary area from Dhenkanal-Jajpur border to Kapilas gate.
Three years back, the Government accorded sanctuary status to Kapilas forest and took tough measures to protect the wild animals, particularly the elephants, from disturbances. As many as three lakh devotees from different parts of the State throng Kapilas temple to pour holy water on the deity every Monday during Sravan month. During their brief stay, they cook and serve food inside the sanctuary and litter waste materials which disturb the animals. After the ban came into force, Bol Bom devotees cannot go through the sanctuary and will have to take a longer route to go to Kapilas temple, said DFO PK Shaoo.
Sahoo further said he has discussed with the forest officials of Kapilas range about the plans and strategies to implement the ban and posting of staff at Chatighar, Deogaon and Kapilas to keep the sanctuary noise-free. Deployment of armed forest officials, round-the-clock patrolling and wide publicity would be taken up to enforce the ban, he added.