BHUBANESWAR: The much-hyped night trail at Bharatpur forest in Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary here will start from January 29, forest officials said.
Divisional forest officer (DFO) Sarat Chandra Behera said the trail will be conducted in three slots between 6 pm and 8 pm everyday, mostly for educational purpose. While the first slot booking will be for 6 pm, the second and third slot booking will be done at 7 pm and 8 pm respectively. For an eight-seater vehicle, the booking charges will be Rs 1,500, while for the 12-seater vehicle, it will be Rs 2,000.
Spread over 194 sq km area, the Chandaka-Dampara sanctuary is home to several wildlife species including elephants, barking deer and porcupines among others.
The night trail, which will be a first-of-its-kind programme in the state, will be beneficial for visitors, especially for students and researchers of different schools, colleges and institutions to help them know and better understand forest and wildlife during night, forest officials said. The Bharatpur section of the sanctuary has been picked for the trail to ensure wildlife in the core is not disturbed by the trail. While hundreds of deer have already been relocated to the place in view of launching of the trail, the Forest department is also planning to subsequently introduce Sambar and Gaur to enrich the habitat.
The night trail activities will also help the Forest department in curbing the frequent trespassing of people living close to the sanctuary from Bharatpur side. As night patrolling will be intensified, unauthorized entry of people from nearby villages and localities to the forest, which increases the risk to the wildlife, is expected to be curbed to a significant level on the Bharatpur side, Chandaka officials said.