To woo tourists, Forest department plans documentary on Kali river

The youngest tiger reserve- Anshi- Dandeli (ADTR) is all set to become a prime tourist destination.

Ensuring that conservation is not compromised upon, the Forest Department has chalked out a series of plans. First in line is the first-ever documentary on Kali River.

The Forest Department, with the help of a private documentary filmmaker, is preparing a documentary on the river known for its flora and fauna, rafting and its banks being home to scores of hornbills. The 20-minute documentary is being prepared at a cost of Rs 6 lakh. It will showcase the grandeur of the river, wildlife, sporting activity and culture. It is in the final stages of editing and will be released next month on the occasion of World Environment Day, said ADTR conservator of forests Srinivasalu.

“We have also tied up with Tourism Department to attract more tourists. Presently, about 50,000 tourists visit the reserve. We have adopted Attiveri Bird Sanctuary, which will also be upgraded. The year-long project would cost Rs 1.5 crore, funded by Tourism Department. Under this, interpretation centre and safari roads will also be improved,” he said.

Regarding the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) report on irregularities in the tiger reserve, the official felt that this should not happen. The 1,345-sqkm area is home for around 30 tigers and over 300 leopards, most of them black panthers. He agreed that some old buildings were being used as anti- poaching camps but this was because there was lack of space for construction of new ones.

“Huli software, popular in Nagarhole and Bandipur is being used here. We have also installed 100 camera traps which have been used to monitor staff, animal and poachers’ movement. They were proved effective in nabbing four poachers last year. We have also taken steps to remove all illegal encroachments and ensured that roads are upgraded as per notification orders. This is the first reserve in Karnataka to get ATG exemption,” he said.

Srinivasalu said Anshi- Dandeli Tiger Reserve has received Rs 80 lakh donations under CSR. This year the revenue earned from safari, tourism and other activities is Rs 1.93 crore compared to Rs 80 lakh last year. Unlike other reserves, where forest fires have been reported, in the last two years, there were no cases of fire in ADTR. “We have relocated 35 families and another 15 are in the pipeline. This year, the target is to relocate 58 families,” Srinivasalu added.

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