Home Daily News Similipal National Park Entry Dispute Resolved: Bathudi Community and Forest Department Reach Agreement

Similipal National Park Entry Dispute Resolved: Bathudi Community and Forest Department Reach Agreement

by Nita Mishra

Tourists planning a visit to the Similipal National Park encountered delays on Tuesday as members of the Bathudi community blocked the Kalianai entry point. The standoff unfolded when the Forest department declined entry to excess vehicles, leading to frustration among the community members.

Sources indicate that the Forest department typically allows around 30 vehicles through the gates from the Jashipur area. However, on this particular day, the Bathudi community arrived with more than 60 vehicles. They were heading towards Athardeula, a religious site within the park, for a traditional event spanning five days.

The annual ritual, observed during the first week of Chaitra, involves the worship of their deities, Badam and Badamani, as a means of seeking divine blessings. Residents from Jashipur, Karanjia, and nearby areas had arranged vehicles for the journey to Athardeula. But tensions escalated when only 30 vehicles were permitted entry, in line with park regulations.

This led to the community members staging a blockade at the entry gate early in the morning, demanding entry permits for all their vehicles. After a five-hour standoff, the blockade was finally lifted following intervention from the district administration and senior department officials.

Official sources clarified that while regulations permit entry for up to 30 vehicles from the Jashipur side, additional vehicles had not been initially granted permission. However, after reconsideration, the department eventually allowed the extra vehicles to enter the park premises.

The incident highlights the delicate balance between tourism and conservation efforts at the Similipal National Park, an important biodiversity hotspot in Odisha. Visitors are reminded to adhere to park regulations to ensure a smooth experience for everyone and the preservation of this natural treasure.

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