Check twice before you book yourself a room in the country’s famous Corbett Tiger Reserve. It is possible that the official website of the park will direct you to a private website offering discounted packages and jungle safaris!
Hotel association in Ramanagar on Wednesday alleged the reserve management has sold the official website to a private agency for `7lakh. This was done overnight on February 20 without any formal notification. As a result, tourists continue to make bookings on the website, which is now handled by a private party. This has declined tourist influx posing threats to local businesspersons during this peak season.
Hari Singh Mann, president hotel association Ramnagar, told Hindustan Times, “The official website of Corbett was handed to a private party overnight without public announcement. Clueless tourists are still clicking the website believing it the official one, which is directing them to the private party and their packages. Because of this discrepancy, the tourist influx has declined affecting local business.”
He added that National Informatics Centre (NIC) launched the official website in February 2007 with validity extending until 2016. But, the park management secretly sold the website.
He also claimed that an IT professional responsible to manage the website was suspended in October 2014, but he continued to work with the reserve management.
Mann affirms that the reserve sold the website to this IT professional who knew about the flow of tourists.
Director Sameer Sinha and deputy director Saket Badola could not be contacted for their comments on the issue.
The chief wildlife warden Digvijay Khati said he was unaware about the development. “I was out and therefore not aware of website controversy. Let me collect the information on this,” he told HT.