Bhopal:Tuesday, August 26, 2008:For the first time safari and trekking facilities have been provided in Van Vihar National Park, Bhopal. The Minister for Forests Kunwar Vijay Shah formally launched these facilities by flagging off the first safari and trekking team today. Besides, the birthday of white tigress”Rini” was celebrated on the occasion. The Minister cut her birthday cake.
Prominent among those present on the occasion included State Election Commissioner Shri A.V. Singh, Managing Director of M.P. Tourism Development Corporation Shri Ashwini Lohani, senior journalist Dr. Rajendra Tiwari, Director, Van Vihar Dr. A.K. Bhattacharya, Assistant Director, Van Vihar Shri A.K. Khare, large number of wildlife lovers, students and media personnel.
The Minister Kunwar Vijay Shah said on the occasion that unprecedented works have been done towards wildlife conservation over last one year in Madhya Pradesh. No other state of the country has witness so much work during such a short span of period, he added.
The Minister said that better facilities are being provided in the enclosures of wild animals. With a view to ensuring cleanliness tiles are being fitted on the walls of the enclosures and flush washing machines are also being provided there. He informed that 50-seat hostels are being constructed close to the national parks where school students may stay for some day. The charges for this would be nominal. A sum of Rs one crore has been provided to each national park for this purpose.
Kunwar Shah informed that a botanical garden is being developed over 200 hectare on Katara Hills in Bhopal. He said that a wildlife hospital is being set up at Jabalpur. Multipurpose Gorkha vehicles are being provided to national parks, he added.
The State Election Commissioner Shri A.V. Singh said that trekking is very enriching experience and one gets first hand knowledge of wildlife and birds. He advised the trekkers to shun use of mobile phones and transistors to make the most of the trekking.
Shri Ashwini Lohani said that Bhopal has all the potential to become a major tourist destination. With beautiful lakes and hills it is a unique city. He said that there are various tourist places around Bhopal city. He assured every possible cooperation from the Corporation for promoting tourism in the national parks.
Senior journalist Dr. Rajendra Tiwari said that trekking is a unique experience and the launch of trekking in Van Vihar is like a boon for forest and wildlife lovers.
The safari would be held from 3.30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and then from 5 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. it would start from Chiku Gate near Vihar Vithika and conclude at the same point. One group would comprise maximum 10 persons. The safari charges would be Rs. 200 per head including the entry fee.
Birthday of Rini
The 18th birthday of white tigress Rini was celebrated on the occasion. Currently she is undergoing treatment for cancer. The Minister Kunwar Shah cut the birthday cake and offered her dressed chicken. He said that the object of celebrating her birthday is to create a sense of belonging in people to wild animals. She was born on August 26, 1990 in Nandan Kanan Zoological Park, Bhuwaneshwar. At the age of four years she was purchased for Rs. Five lakh on March2, 1995 and shifted to Van Vihar, Bhopal.