Anamalai Tiger Reserve officials urge  tourists to reach Valparai before 6 pm

According to officials, vehicle movement at night will affect movement of elephants, tigers, leopards and Nilgiri tahr, thereby escalating man-animal conflict.
Elephants at Anamalai Tiger Reserve
Elephants at Anamalai Tiger Reserve

COIMBATORE: Anamalai Tiger Reserve officials have urged hoteliers and taxi owners to raise awareness among tourists to reach the Aliyar checkpost before the 6 p.m. deadline. The request comes after tourists from Chennai had to return from the check post as the forest officials denied permission to visit Valparai, a popular hill station in the tiger reserve.  

“Tourists will not be allowed to travel to Valparai before 7 am and after 6 pm,” said Bhargava Teja, deputy director of ATR.“This is not a new rule, the restriction has been in place for years in the tiger reserve. However, we have been allowing locals, traders and TNSTC buses without any restrictions. Likewise, Kerala tourist vehicles will not be allowed after 6,” he added.

On Friday, Valparai MLA TK Amul Kandasamy, along with hoteliers, taxi owners and drivers association members met Bhargava Teja to reconsider the restrictions as it is affecting tourism in the area. But the deputy director said these are imposed by the Centre and can’t be lifted.

According to officials, vehicle movement at night will affect the movement of elephants, tigers, leopards and Nilgiri tahr, thereby escalating man-animal conflict. Lifting of restrictions will also affect the free movement of lion-tailed macaque, a species on the endangered list.

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