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Aravalli Biodiversity Park reopens: Eager visitors venture wilderness with masks, follow social distancing

A changed experience beckons for those visiting the Aravalli Biodiversity Park, with new rules in place amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

coronavirus-crisis Updated: Jul 09, 2020 13:31 IST
Naina Arora
Naina Arora
Hindustan Times
Signages have been put up at the park to instruct people to follow social distancing.
Signages have been put up at the park to instruct people to follow social distancing.

Face masks, social distancing, avoiding large groups, careful on the benches, no-eatables, one-way signages — visiting the popular nature spot Aravalli Biodiversity Park, during the ongoing pandemic era, won’t be the same considering the new rules put in place to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

Gurugram’s favourite spot has reopened, on July 1, and Gurugrammers are kicked to visit even if it means following some strict guidelines. “The park is finally open after the lockdown,” says Priti Sanwalka, one of the board members, adding, “It’s a great time to be at the park and enjoy its flora and fauna; there is a burst of activity on all fronts and lots of flowering, fruiting and bird activity to enjoy. And to ensure the safety of all visitors and our staff, we have put in place measures as per the unlock guidelines of Ministry of Home Affairs.”

Latika Thakral, co-founder of the NGO, iamgurgaon, says, “People were eagerly awaiting for the park to reopen and some even checked on call... Now that the park is open, we have arrows put up to identify one-way movement in the main stretch. It’s very difficult to control (once visitors start coming), but we are assuming that people will follow the rules.”

Among those who are regular visitors at the park is photographer Dinesh Khanna, who visits with his pets. He says, “Considering the circumstances, I think these are excellent rules and will, hopefully, be adhered properly by all walkers. I definitely will make sure to be responsible as it’s in everyone’s interest.”

Photographer Dinesh Khanna is looking forward to revisit the park.
Photographer Dinesh Khanna is looking forward to revisit the park.

Another park regular and Gurugram resident Sarika Panda Bhatt says, “We Gurugramers were eagerly waiting for BDP to open! Unfortunately, the Covid-19 crisis is here to stay for some time as we don’t have a cure or a vaccine. A number of studies from around the world have shown that when people maintain the rules of hygiene and protection — like wear face masks, avoid large gatherings, and maintain physical distancing — then the chance of catching the infection is negligible. Therefore, the new regulations at the park are a welcome step. We definitely need outdoor activities to fight with other health issues and going to the forest is the best remedy.”

“Monsoon is a most productive time, with caterpillar, bugs, and flowering. At the park too, many plants are flowering and fruiting.” – Vijay Dhasmana, ecologist

Ecologist Vijay Dhasmana says the place is a “delight” for any nature lover. “The park has been thriving with this year’s early rains. Monsoon is a most productive time, with caterpillar, bugs, and flowering. At the park too, many plants are flowering and fruiting. Unfortunately, people could not witness the spring flowering this year. But now birds are nesting and you can hear the jungle with crickets, cicadas sounds. Lockdown has been tough on people. So when they will now get to go in the wilderness, it will give them positivity and hope. There is so much life happening there; people who understand nature will get to witness all that.”

Author tweets @Nainaarora8

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