Dalma wildlife sanctuary reopens for tourists after a year
The Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, shut down for almost a year due to the pandemic, reopened on Tuesday for tourists where they can also book accommodation now.
"The state government has sent orders to reopen the sanctuary. We have already received the letter in this regard. The sanctuary has formally reopened on Tuesday," an official said on condition of anonymity.
Dalma range officer (West) Dinesh Chandra confirmed the reopening but said bookings would be entertained in a restricted manner in view of the pandemic.
"There will be restrictions on bookings. To start with, we will accept few bookings for accommodations. Fewer guests would be allowed inside the cafeteria at Makulakocha where AC and non-AC rooms are located. Same criteria will be applicable for accommodations at mud houses, also in Makukalocha, and residential quarters near Pinderbera forest guest house," he informed.
Tourists shall have to adhere to necessary Covid-related norms like social distancing and use of face masks.
"Thermal screening of tourists will be done at the entrance. Sanitisers would also be available at the entrance as well as accommodations and cafeteria. We are against taking any unnecessary risk and want tourists to also follow the directives with utter seriousness," a Dalma official said.
The 192 sq km jumbo abode, 30 km from Jamshedpur, is one of the favourite getaways for tourists from Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
"Elephants are presently at the periphery of the sanctuary while some are scattered downhill. Chill is no longer an issue at the top and elephants would soon start assembling near watering holes. Tourists can click pictures of elephants and also watch their antics from inside animal hideouts built near watering holes," a forester said.
Dalma authorities had on March 17 last year asked tourists, who were enjoying a break at the sanctuary, to go home after the state government’s order kicked in to close public places in view of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The authorities also stopped entertaining any further bookings.
The sanctuary has suffered revenue loss ever since the jumbo abode was closed. Now authorities can expect things to improve.
Satish Pal, a Jamshedpur businessman, welcomed the reopening of the sanctuary.
"We frequent the Dalma sanctuary. It is good to hear about its reopening. I would like to book the residential quarters and spend quality time at the top," he added.