Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Sordid Story of Corbett Resorts

We had stayed at a small resort at Dhikuli near Ramnagar. A recent article in the TOI had highlighted the sordid state of luxurious private resorts causing irreparable damage to the Corbett National Park. In the night we got a taste of what the article was telling us. The Corbett Inn one of the luxury reports, was located next to pur resort. It was having guests of some TVS group company and was hosting a party. The loud music with booz is not what people should expect in a nture resort. But the residents of the hotel differ with this opinion and so got indulged in a booz party rather than enjoying the tranquilness of the jungle. One of the guys who were drunk got hold of the loudspeaker and was creating a scene which we could hear from our resort. Night is the time for 4 legged animals, not for drunken 2 legged ones making his voice heard over the loudspeakers. If the tiger roars, the jungles shake. But when a man roars with a mike in hand, the jungle shed tears. Hosting parties with loud music at night is a regular feature of these so called nature resorts. These unscrupulous hoteliers are doing irreparable damage to the flora and fauna of the area. 77 private resorts have come up in the area close to the park and it is a booming business.

In the park, we had befriended a forest ranger. He told us another sad story. Some of these resorts are resorting to dirty tactics like throwing meats around edges of the park to draw out carnivores so that their guests can be offered chance to see them without entering the park. Easy food makes these carnivores change their natural instinct of hunting for food. If they change their habit, they will look for easy prey like cattle of the villagers living around the park. Villagers are retaliating by poisoning the animals. This is a serious cocktail cooking right under the nose of the administration. Do you believe that administration is not aware of these? The booming resort business has given a fillip to corruption as well.

Almost all these resorts are located in an area called Dhikuli which is strikingly similar to Dhikala located in the core area of the park. Most tourists get duped by the promise of accommodation at Dhikala and end up staying at Dhikuli. So next time you are going there, make sure where you are going. Dhikala accommodations are all Forest Rest Houses. It can be booked only by directly contacting the CTR office. We were told of another sad tale of corruption. Some corrupted CTR officials have been bribed by these resorts to create artificial shortage of FRH accommodation in the park so that people are forced to stay at these resorts. While so much hullabaloo is made about just 1411 tigers left in India, all these dirty things are happening right at the place which is suppose to have the largest number of tigers in India. Disgusting, isn’t it!

This is how we have read, seen and were told by people who really care but have no ways to make their voices heard. Our ranger friend was so proud to tell that they get a hike of Rs.500/- per month in their salary because Corbett has come first in tiger conservation effort and has recorded the highest tiger population in India. The forest is their livelihood and they really want the forest and tiger to live. And we need the tiger to save the forest and save us from ecological disasters like draught and global warming.


Anu said...

It is indeed a sad state of affairs... which is why my enthusiasm to visit national parks is at an all time matter where u go and how eco friendly u try to be, seeing the way our co-travellers behave spoils everything and makes u feel u had never gone there! have experienced such things a couple of times, though i havent been to corbett yet....

Sankara Subramanian C said...

I couldn't agree with you more! If things were in my control, I would give both these hoteliers and their guests a solid public flogging. But, unfortunately, the law stops me. I have faced similar situations at Corbett, though have been lucky to get my acco always at Dhikala.

Lets hope bloggers like us get more insights into such shoddy states of national parks in India.

Corbett National Park said...

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