Bhawanipatna: Even as the state government is taking measures to boost tourism, the indifferent attitude of officials concerned has been a major drawback in decrease of number of visitors.
It is the season of picnic with the onset of winter. However, the negligent attitude of the officials has spread resentment among tourists and picnickers for one or the other reason. While some picnic spots are collecting excess fees from visitors, many are found to be closed.
A case in point is the plight of perennial Phurlijharan Waterfalls in Kalahandi district. Known for its attractiveness, Phurlijharan Waterfall is tucked in the Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary around 15 km away from Bhawanipatna.
The waterfall about 30ft in height has a special charm of its own. The multi coloured rainbow created by the sunrays falling on the scattered water particles of the fall is an amusing sight to be seen. The evergreen forests around the fall provide ample opportunities to picnickers.
Popular amongst locals and travellers as a picnic spot, this waterfall descends from a height of 9.1 m. The cool and calm environs around the fall provide a relaxing time to the travellers where they can also capture the beautiful fall on their camera lens.
Moreover, the months from September to January are considered to be the best time to visit Phurlijharan Waterfall as the weather remains enjoyable to explore even more places in the district.
However, over some reason the tourist site has remained closed for the past one and half years.
According to reports, the waterfall and the tourism centre in Phurlijharan suffered massive damage in July last following heavy downpour and thunderstorm. Since then, entry of visitors into the site has been restricted with its gate remaining closed.
Resentment brewed among locals as the forest department doesn’t bother to take any measures to maintain the scenic site. Locals have expressed concern over the forest department not taking any steps for its renovation, a report said.
Thanks to its natural splendor, more than 50,000 tourists annually visited the site that contributed lakhs of rupees to the state exchequer. However, the waterfall is in a pitiable condition as it lost its sheen since July 2017 following the natural calamity. The forest department has officially closed the spot for nearly one and half year now.
At a time when the state government claims it does everything to boost the tourism sector, the present state of Phurlijharan waterfall tells a different tale, alleged locals.
Though the matter was taken up by the forest department and the district officials on several occasions, it yielded no results, they said.
Locals demanded eco tourism status to Phurlijharan, immediate repair of damaged facilities, erection of sidewalls on both sides of the fall, laying of an approach road, two Kalyan Mandaps, 50 public toilets, five guest houses and bright illumination of the site.