It was a plastic-free Pongal celebration for the visitors who flocked to picnic spots located within the Kalakkad – Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The heavy influx of tourists did not deter the KMTR personnel from seizing plastic products and liquor bottles.
At KMTR’s Papanasam Range, vehicles were searched by forest personnel at the main entrance. Seized liquor bottles were opened and their contents emptied. Tourists were told to put plastic carry bags in huge bins kept at the entrance.
Bins were kept at various points at the picnic spots and forest staff instructed the public to use them.
At KMTR’s Kalakakkad Range, some visitors were denied entry as they insisted on carrying liquor.
Those who managed to sneak plastic bags into the prohibited forest zone were asked to put the hazardous non-degradable waste, posing a serious threat to wildlife, in the bins kept at various points around ‘Thalaiyanai’.
The entry fee collected from visitors to ‘Thalaiyanai’ on ‘Maattu Pongal’ and ‘Kaanum Pongal’, which stood at Rs. 17,000 last year, rose to Rs. 38,000 this year.