Bantala: After a gap of 14 months, boating at Satkosia Sanctuary gorge in Angul district is all set to resume with the forest department procuring five boats for the purpose.
The gorge had been out of bounds to tourists since the tension and violence erupted after tigress Sundari killed a villager.
The gorge area is the most scenic and beautiful during winter. Since tourists are keen to explore the place, the forest department, in a bid to reopen it, has bought the boats for Rs 50 lakh. Two boats were procured by the Satkosia Wildlife Division and the remaining three by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife).
According to the forest department, the boats have already been sanctified with rituals and are ready to welcome revelers.
Forest department sources said, two boats have been dedicated for eco-tourism. To book an entire eight-seater boat, visitors will have to pay Rs 1,600. They can enjoy a 45- minute ride during which they can enjoy the natural beauty, watch colourful migratory birds and crocodiles. Each boat has sufficient number of life jackets, a trained driver and a guide.
Notably, Sundari killed 50-year-old Kailash Sai of Hatibari village under Tikarpada panchayat September 12, 2018. This infuriated the people who had earlier protested the release of the big cat in the sanctuary. They torched the range office, beat house, forest department bungalow and five boats. Since the incident, the boating in the gorge had been stopped.