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It was around a month ago that the forest department of Rajasthan started a ticketed visitors entry into Jhalana Forest Safari to spread the wildness awareness and encourage eco-tourism but due to the negligence, the step has proven to be detrimental for the wildlife instead of encouraging eco-tourism. A large number of visitors flock the region with blatant disregard to the sanctity of the forest. It is worth noticing that a large part of the crowd comprises of party revelers and young people who are remotely concerned about wildlife conservation or natural heritage. The area, for them, is just a picnic spot where they can uninterruptedly blow high music, take selfies and indulge in weekend revelry. Wrappers of chips, empty plastic bottles and even unconsumed eatables can be seen scattered around various areas of the forest. The noise and din created by the city folks is making the place unfit for the stay of Leopard who is an extremely shy animal and dislikes the human presence.


The good intention of the forest department is marred by their inability to formulate the rules and regulations for the visitors. Waterholes play a vital role in the Jhalana forest area and are a major element for the survival of wildlife. The "intruding visitors" gather around these waterholes and have a gala time. It discourages the shy wildlife to visit the waterholes and thus interferes with general habits and lifestyle of wildlife.


The number of vehicles through the 4 KM track of the forest on an average weekday is 10-15 but this quantity doubles on weekends. At times the forest even sees as many as 40 vehicles on weekends. The major concern here is that these visitors not only harm the harmony of the forest area but also limit the regions where leopards can roam freely. The garbage scattered around the region pose threat to the environment. One thing to note here is that many of plastic wrappers comprises unconsumed eatables thus threatening the life of animals.


If unchecked, the situation can have the serious repercussions. Right now a ticketed entry is allowed inside the park but there are no rules or regulations to keep the sanctity of the park or dissuade the visitors from behaving in irresponsible manner.

 


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