Plastic waste in no-plastic zone at Satkosia Tiger reserve in Angul district
a menace, say visitors
Angul: The poor upkeep of the Satkosia Tiger Reserve in the Angul district especially in
the Tikarpara village area is thwarting the experience of tourists
flocking the Nature Camp in the reserve and visiting the reserve.
While the local authorities have declared the area as a ‘no-plastic zone’ and have installed signboards at important junctions, the lacuna in the management of the area seems evident. Just where the wooden placard of Tikarpara welcomes its visitors, the pile of plastic garbage destroys the beauty of the area.
“I visited the site after I came to know about it from friends and watching some videos on Satkosia online. However, on our visit we were welcomed by this pile of plastic garbage just at the entrance of the nature camp. This is in spite of the boards mentioning it to be a ‘no plastic zone’. This was unfortunate,” said Niharika Tripathy, a visitor to the nature camp.
Others claimed that it was the lack of monitoring by the tourism department that has led to this ugly sight. “This shows the lack of interest of the tourism department in ensuring a pleasant stay of the visitors while they charge money from the nature revelers who want to be part of the eco-tourism nature trail,” said Sanjay Behera, another visitor to the site.
The villagers, meanwhile, blame some of the shopkeepers who are stationed near the entrance of the nature camp for dumping the plastic waste and other garbage. Some of the visitors also deface the area while the local authorities fail to provide adequate dustbins to dispose off the waste.
Nevertheless, the villagers, a number of whom have now been inducted by the forest and tourism department to cater to the needs of the tourists are meanwhile miffed with the lower levels of Mahanadi water. Many boastmen are now blaming Chattisgarh for the lower water levels.
“Earlier from Tikarpara village to the mountains on the other side of the banks, the river waters used to give us space for boating and added to the adventure of the tourists during non-monsoon season. But in the last five years, the river water levels have dwindled in and it also affected the tourist potential of boating in the gorge,” said Purjadhan Mirdha, a boatman from the village.