The Forest Department has imposed restrictions on tourists visiting Gavi, an ecotourism destination coming under the Ranni forest division in Pathanamthitta district.

Chief Wildlife Warden V. Gopinathan told The Hindu on Monday that the restrictions would come into force with immediate effect.

Mr. Gopinathan said the unrestricted flow of visitors to Gavi through the Angamuzhi-Vallakadavu road caused other environmental problems to the forest, falling under the core area of the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR).

Plastic waste

He said, in addition to noise pollution, visitors dumped plastic waste and liquor bottles in the forest area and even engaged in cooking by the roadside. The road starts from the recently added 148-sq km buffer zone of the tiger reserve.

In view of the situation, entry to Gavi from Angamuzhi has been banned. But 100 visitors per day will be permitted to go up to Anathodu from Angamuzhi on the condition that they come back to Angamuzhi from the forest area. Entry to Gavi will be under the strict control of the Kerala Forest Development Corporation (KFDC) through a tour package.

Such tourists will be allowed to proceed to Gavi only through the Vandiperiyar-Vallakadavu road. In the wake of these restrictions, tourists who wanted to visit Gavi should contact the Vallakadavu forest range office (phone: 04869-252515 or 8547603010), Mr. Gopinathan said. The KFDC's ecotourism office at Gavi could be contacted over phone (8547809270).

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