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Tadoba Buffer Zone Witnesses Halted Safaris by the Guides

Tadoba Buffer Zone Witnesses Halted Safaris by the Guides

  • Jagat Singh
  • Aug 29, 2023
  • Comments (1.5k)
safari halted by guide

27th August, Sunday, turned out to be a doomed day as the guides denied entry to tourists through the three gates of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. They stood for protesting against the over hiring of new guides as they feared a curb on their salary. The decision of new appointments was made by a forest officer in the Palagaon range and the existing guides are in vigorous resistance with the verdict.

The tourists were forced to return from the entry gates, except for a couple who had an online booking. The guides voiced - “We get employment for just half a year and earn Rs. 5000 per month during the summer, Diwali and Christmas vacations when the park is full. With new entrants, neither will we get enough wage nor the new guides.” Kushagra Pathak, deputy director (buffer) mentioned that the intention behind the appointment of new guides is to provide employment opportunities to the locals.

The number of tourist vehicles allowed in Kolara, Madnapur and Bellara are 13, 12 and 12 respectively. Presently the guides are engaged with one trip per day. Each gate is appointed with 12 guides and there has been the recruitment of 13 new guides, four for Madnapur, six for Bellara and three for Kolara. According to Mr. Pathak, the present guides fear that with the enrolment of new guides, they will get one trip every alternate day, leading to their wage curtailment. However, Mr. Pathak has ensured to solve the issue at a meeting held on Monday.

The guides report that the above-mentioned decision was furnished without any prior knowledge imparted to them. Therefore they demand to increase the per-day vehicle quota if new guides are to be appointed. Their endeavour to highlight the concern to the deputy director has failed twice. With further criticism, they disclosed that the hiring process underwent various loopholes.

SSC-failed candidates have been appointed for the job role; whereas the norms state that the candidates should be at least HSSC pass. The graduates and post-graduate candidates too have been denied the opportunity.

The age limit for guides should be 18-30 years but the 45+ years old candidates have been recruited, thereby violating the rules. Moreover, the management of the park’s regulations has mandated employment to one individual from each family, but there is more than one worker from one family posted to both buffer and core zones.

The final appeal of the guides to the management is to sort out the matter by 1st October 2023, before the commencement of the peak tourist season.

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