Forest Department Implements Strict Measures for Fireflies Festival in Kalsubai-Harishchandragad Sanctuary

Forest Department Implements Strict Measures for Fireflies Festival in Kalsubai-Harishchandragad Sanctuary

This year, the Forest Department has implemented new regulations, prohibiting entry into the forest area after 9pm during the Kajawa (firefly) Festival.

Prashant NikaleUpdated: Friday, May 31, 2024, 11:29 AM IST
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Forest Department Implements Strict Measures for Fireflies Festival in Kalsubai-Harishchandragad Sanctuary |

With the onset of the monsoon season, nature lovers and tourists flock to the Kalsubai-Harishchandragarh Sanctuary in Bhandardara. This period, from the last week of May to mid-June, is renowned for the spectacular sight of glowing fireflies in the Bhandardara area. This year, the Forest Department has implemented new regulations, prohibiting entry into the forest area after 9pm during the Kajawa (firefly) Festival.

Amol Ade, Range Forest Officer, Kalsubai-Bhandardara Wildlife Sanctuary, while speaking with The Free Press Journal, said, "Strict measures have been taken to prevent damage to forest areas due to tourists. Tourists will be prohibited from entering the forest area by car. Various measures will be taken to avoid rush on holidays. These measures aim to ensure the protection of the forest and its wildlife while allowing tourists to enjoy the natural spectacle responsibly."         

2L tourists visit every year

The festival attracts between 1,50,000 to 2,00,000 tourists each year, and this year, an increase in tourist numbers is expected. In light of this, the forest department has imposed restrictions to protect the area's biodiversity. Amateur photographers often use camera flashes and batteries to capture wildlife, and private tourist organisations frequently organise cultural programs and meals within the forest. These activities have raised concerns among wildlife enthusiasts about potential harm to the local ecosystem.

To balance the economic benefits for local residents with environmental protection, the forest department has opted for regulatory measures instead of an outright ban on the festival.

A meeting of the joint forest management committees of the Kalsubai-Harishchandragad Sanctuary was held in preparation for the festival. The meeting focused on managing tourist influx, organising parking arrangements, and defining the responsibilities of festival organisers. Plans are also being made to accommodate tourists from other districts.

To prevent damage to the forest, strict measures have been implemented. Tourists will be prohibited from entering the forest by car, and various steps will be taken to manage crowds during peak times.

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