Tourists on jungle safari in the core and buffer areas of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) cannot use their cell phones from Saturday, following order issued by the management imposing ban on talking and clicking pictures using cell phones for tourists.
N R Praveen, Field Director, TATR, Chandrapur, said on Friday that the management has made arrangements for keeping a steel box in each Gypsy vehicle during safari. Tourists entering in the park in Gypsy will have to keep their cell phones in the steel box. Forest men will lock the box and keep its key with them. The cell phones of drivers and guides would also be kept in the box, he added.
After completing the jungle safari, forest men will unlock the box at the park gate to enable tourists take their cell phones back. This is being done to make tourists assured that their costly cell phones are safe with them, he added.
Praveen pointed out that he took the decision as tourists, drivers or drivers contact other tourists on safari on cell phones in case of sighting of a tiger at a particular spot. This makes other vehicle drivers rush towards that spot and park their vehicles at available space with a view to getting a clear view of the carnivore. The animal gets disturbed during cornering by the vehicles and mob. The Jio network has strong connectivity in the buffer, if compared to core area, he added.
Many tourists click photographers of the wild animals and make them viral on social networking sites. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had expressed concern over tourists sharing photographers with name of the spot on social networking site. However, course of concern at TATR is that tourists get engaged in taking photographs and talking on cell phones and disturb peace in the wild.
Meanwhile, an atmosphere of discontent is prevailing among the tourists for imposing a fee of Rs 200 for carrying digital camera while on jungle safari from start of last week of November, for not having toilet facilities inside the park. Similarly, guides are also unhappy as their demand for increasing fee from Rs 350 to Rs 500 per jungle safari is not conceded by the TATR management.