BARPETA Oct 17 - The BTAD administration will undertake several new measures to attract tourists to the Manas National Park-cum-Tiger Project. While some of them will be on a long term basis, some will be implemented very soon, stated the Deputy Chief Executive Member of the BTAD, Khampha Borgoyary this morning.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the opening of the World Heritage Site park for the ensuing tourist season, Borgoyary stated that though the park was scheduled to be opened on October 4, it had to be postponed due to inclement weather and the damage caused to roads by floods. He said that much has been done and yet a lot has to be done to develop the park infrastructure.
The BTAD deputy chief said that the BTC would spend Rs 35-36 crore to attract tourists. Giving details, he said that an interpretation centre and a museum would be built within the first half of the next year. Tourist entry gates will be increased to four through Bahbari, Kokilabari, Bhuyapara and Panbari.
Referring to the internal security scenario, he said that the situation has improved now in comparison to last year and the flow of tourists is likely to increase. He also said that all the damaged roads would be repaired soon and the funds for this purpose have already been sanctioned. Elephant safaris, which are limited to short journeys, will be made extended and training will be provided in this regard. Besides, private parties will also be welcomed to conduct elephant safaris.
Borgoyary lamented that the authority has not been able to take tourists to the Panbari range of the park so far and steps will be taken to remove the hurdles in this regard. Replying to a question regarding encroachment, Borgoyary admitted encroachment on the Betbari area of the park and said that adequate steps would be taken to free the area. He said that a discussion with the local villagers is going on and the forest land will be regained soon.
Earlier, Borgoyary opened the gate for tourists at Bahbari. He also inaugurated an elephant riding point near the gate. Hiranya Kumar Sarma, Director of the Park, Aninda Swargiary, ex-director and present CHD, BTAD, Dharanidhar Boro, ACF, and several other dignitaries were present on the occasion.