The Madhya Pradesh forest department, which has been regulating tourism in national parks and sanctuaries, will now issue passes to people wanting to visit reserve forests and view wildlife, a state government notification has said.
The MP forests (recreation and wildlife experience) rules, 2015, notified by the state government on February 25, have also introduced a provision for fee payable at the time of entry to reserve forests.
The move is to mop up additional revenue through the rules and promote eco-tourism in areas outside national parks and sanctuaries.
“The objective behind the rules is to promote eco-tourism and to provide a legal status to tourism in reserve forests,” said state ecotourism development board’s chief executive officer Vinay Varman.
The forest area of Madhya Pradesh stands at 95,221 sq kms of which 61.7% is classified as reserve forests.
Under the rules, the state government will notify ‘recreational areas’ and ‘wildlife experience areas’ in any reserve forest if it feels that people should be granted the right of access to that area on payment of a fee.
The rules also authorise the divisional forest officer to take measures to facilitate recreational facilities such as road safari, water cruise, cafeteria and camps.
‘Wildlife experience areas’ will be closed to visitors from June 16 to September 30 and camping will not be allowed in such areas. Water cruise will only be allowed from sunrise to sunset in ‘wildlife experience areas’.
On foot Rs 10.... Rs 20
Two-wheeler....Rs 25....Rs 50
Four-wheeler Rs 100....Rs 250
Standard bus Rs 250....Rs 500
Camping Rs 50....Rs 100
Wildlife viewing Rs 50....Rs 100
Water cruise Rs 50....Rs 100