The Jim Corbett National Park and Rajaji Tiger Reserve will now remain open for visitors all year round. Previously, these parks used to remain shut during the monsoon season starting from June 15 till November 15. This new decision came up from the meeting of Forest Minister, Harak Singh Rawat with other officials. Both the National Parks are famous for diversified wildlife such as tigers, deers, elephants, leopards and others.
To boost the tourism sector in the state of Uttarakhand, the government of Uttarakhand has come to this conclusion. In recent years, both the national parks have registered an escalation in the number of visitors including foreign nationals. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the closing of the gates for tourists. Undoubtedly, the successive lockdowns have hampered the lives of many who are associated with these parks inclusive of the wildlife. This decision has the potential to bring back life on the track of the affected ones.
The government figure shows around 2.04 lakh visitors inclusive of 377 foreign nationals have visited Jim Corbett National Park between April 2020 to March 2021. The park earned around Rs. 8 crores during that period. The above figure is exclusive of the indirect spending on lodging, food and other expenses. The potential tourism of Jim Corbett National Park can be deduced from the figures received from the lockdown period. Likewise, Rajaji Tiger Reserve recorded around 12,800 visitors, including 23 foreigners, and earned Rs. 23 lakh during the same period.
While there exists a supportive point of view concerning the opening of the parks but there also exist questions around the feasibility of the same. The monsoon season swells up the rivers inside the reserves thereby flooding the safari roads. Experts state that monsoon is the breeding period for most of the animals, and any interruption could leave in human-wildlife conflicts.