Three check posts, three rules by forest dept

Tourists left in lurch due to these differences

There are three check posts of the forest department on the way to Kudremukh National Park, which have been observing three different rules.

This difference has been causing problems to the tourists. There is one check post near Tanikodu, on the way from Sringeri to Karkala.

Here, the drivers of the vehicles have to walk up to the check post, sign the log book and get the permit compulsorily. This rule is not there anywhere else in the State. If anyone questions the gate staffs, they say they have been directed to do so from their higher ups.

The Maala Gate, on the way from Karkala is open everyday. The staffs sitting at this check post are often mute. They do not give any information about getting permit to people plying to Sringeri and Hornadu areas.

Those who know the format of getting the permit walk up to the staffs and get the permit done. Here signing the log book is not compulsory. For those vehicle drivers who do not know to get the permit are allowed to proceed.

The vehicles which fail to get permit from Maala Gate are stopped at Tanikodu or Belle Gate where staffs ask the vehicles to ply back to Maala Gate (20 kms away) and get the permit done. If the drivers explain that it is difficult to go back to Maala Gate, the staffs are quite flexible. They are open to accepting bribe to let vehicles proceed without any problem, says a tourist from Davangere.

The situation at Belle Gate, near Kudremukh is no different. There have been many instances of fights between forest staff and tourists over collection of permits.
It is said that when the tourists go to collect the passes, the drivers of the vehicles are illegally made to pay additional amount.

Kudremukh Wildlife Division Karkala ACF and DCF who learnt about the issue held a surprise visit and checked the Gate Staffs. They have warned the staffs against collecting money from tourists. Further a notice board has been installed cautioning the tourists too about possibility of gate staffs asking for money, which is illegal.

“The staffs have been appointed to issue passes. They do not have any other job assigned to them. There is extortion of tourists going on here and the staffs do not seem to mend their ways,” says Ramesh, a tourist from Bangalore.

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