Starting from July 1, all four of Rajasthan’s tiger reserves will be closed to visitors every Wednesday. This decision was made by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in an effort to give tigers a weekly day of rest and reduce the pressure on wildlife and reserve staff.
The Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Sawai Madhopur, Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar, Mukundra Tiger Reserve in Kota, and Ramgarh Vishdhari Tiger Reserve in Bundi are the four reserves affected by this order.
Diya Kumari, an honorable NTCA member and MP (Member of Parliament) , proposed this idea of a weekly off for tigers during a meeting held in Delhi on January 3. Her proposal received widespread support from other members, leading to the adoption of the practice by the NTCA and the issuance of nationwide guidelines for its implementation.
Rajasthan is now the sixth state to implement this practice, following West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, and Bihar.
Mr Arindam Tomar, Main Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden govt of Rajasthan, commented on the decision: “Based on an order by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, we have decided to close all four important tiger reserves in Rajasthan every Wednesday from 1st of July,2024 onwards.”
Tourism activities such as safari tours will not be permitted on Wednesdays in these reserves. Visitors who have already booked for any Wednesday after July 1 will be refunded. The process of refunding tickets for affected Wednesdays has already begun. The constant flow of tourists and non-stop safari activities were putting a strain on wildlife and causing unnecessary stress. The introduction of a weekly off is expected to provide relief for tigers and improve conservation efforts.
By closing its important tiger reserves on every Wednesday, Rajasthan is taking a step closer towards prioritizing the welfare of its tiger population and promoting sustainable wildlife tourism in the state.