Dhenkanal: It has been nine years since Kapilas Wildlife Sanctuary got its sanctuary status. However, the sanctuary has not achieved what it set out for nine years back. Lack of government will is alleged to be the reason behind this.
Kapilas was declared a wildlife sanctuary back in 2011. This sanctuary spreading over an area of 125.25 square kilometre stretches from Krushnakumarpur in Dhenkanal district to Tangi and Khuntuni in Cuttack district.
Kapilas sanctuary is best known for its rich flora and fauna. The forest here includes trees such as Teak, Sal, Bada Chakunda and other valuable medicinal plants and herbs. There are animals such as elephants, bears, deer, sambar, boars, hares, peacocks, porcupines, king cobra and pythons as well. The sanctuary’s lush green forest reverberating with chirping of birds has enough to entice tourists. That said, it fails to draw many as not much has been done over these nine years to improve the infrastructure to attract tourists.
Let alone infrastructure development, little has been done for its safety either.
There are several rules to be followed once a forest is declared sanctuary. In case of Kapilas Wildlife Sanctuary, there must be an entrance at Krushnakumarpur. There must be a big enough notice board at the entrance to make the visitors aware of certain rules and regulations to be followed while inside the sanctuary. Similarly, staff engaged in patrolling have to check the vehicles.
In this regard, the forest department sent a proposal to the state government in 2015. But the file has since been gathering dust due to lack of government will.
The nature lovers here have expressed their concern over the sanctuary being neglected. According to them, hundreds of visitors and devotees visit the famous Kapilas Shiva temple all round the year. To reach the shrine, they have to go through the sanctuary. The pollution they cause has a detrimental impact on both the sanctuary atmosphere and its birds and animals.
“Various steps should have been taken to contain noise pollution inside the sanctuary by the tourists. They should be made aware of the rules and regulations. However, nothing has been done except putting up two to three ‘blink-and-you-miss-it’ type of notice boards,” said a local.
“It’s time the government took steps to protect the sanctuary and its flora and fauna,” another added.
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