After a gap of nearly one month, the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary near Mysuru in Karnataka has reopened for tourists. Boating, one of the major attractions of the popular tourist destination, has also been resumed.
The sanctuary was closed for visitors after the place was flooded following heavy discharge from the KRS dam. At one point of time, the discharge into the river exceeded one lakh cusecs and most of the attractions at the sanctuary were under water, forcing the Forest Department to shut the place for an indefinite period.
“The sanctuary was reopened four days ago. Boating has also resumed. We suffered losses due to the closure. An average of Rs. 40-50 lakh loss was suffered as the place attracts a lot of tourists,” said Deputy Conservator of Forests, Wildlife division, V. Karikalan.
This is perhaps for the first time in recent years that the sanctuary was closed for nearly a month as heavy rains in the catchment areas filled the dam to its brim twice, forcing the authorities to release surplus water into the river that submerged places including Ranganathittu located downstream.
Mr. Karikalan said nearly five lakh tourists visit the sanctuary every year. It had suffered damage in April this year due to strong winds. This time, despite heavy flooding, there was not much damage. Boats were safe, he added.
Mr. Karikalan said more boats are being added to the existing fleet ahead of the Dasara festivities.
Three new boats and one battery operated vehicle are also being procured in the month of September.