By: Pune Pulse
October 17, 2023
Pune: The Pune Forest Department is set to commence grassland safaris in the Pune and Solapur districts.
To facilitate this initiative, the forest department has developed an online booking application, which is scheduled to be launched on October 18.
This pioneering endeavour is claimed to be the first of its kind in Maharashtra, according to officials from the Pune Forest Department.
Data from the forest department reveals that a mere 3.27 percent of the total area of 2160.77 hectares falls under the category of special grasslands. These regions are known for their untamed nature.
The grasslands in Indapur and Baramati boast a thriving and nurturing ecosystem, attracting a diverse range of animals and birds. However, the conservation of these grasslands necessitates a systematic approach.
Additionally, it is crucial to generate employment opportunities and encourage human involvement in conservation programs. Tourism has proven to be an effective means of creating jobs in the region.
Therefore, in collaboration with the Joint Forest Management Committee and the local villagers, the Forest Department has devised a comprehensive tourism plan.
Local residents are being trained in management skills and tour guiding with the assistance of NGOs dedicated to wildlife and conservation efforts. Two time slots will be made available for individuals to visit these grasslands. Furthermore, the forest department has expressed intentions to expand this initiative to other areas in Pune and Solapur districts.
Previously, unauthorized entry into this reserve forest area was common. Organized tourism will enable the forest department to provide proper access to citizens and nature enthusiasts who wish to explore these locations.
Speaking to Pune Pulse, Mayur Bothe, Assistant Conservator Forest (ACF), added, ”The safari in the grasslands of Indapur and Baramati will give the opportunity to explore the rich wildlife of the area and spot animals like hyenas, wolves, jackals, foxes, and many migratory birds. There are two zones in the Indapur and Baramati grasslands that give access to the safari, namely Kadbanwadi (Indapur) Zone and Shirsuphal (Baramati) Zone. Our website has been launched for online booking. The entry fee is Rs. 1500. Vehicles with more than seven seats will not be allowed.”