Tiger reserve officials are identifying machans, waterholes and modalities are being worked out to allow participants. Retired divisional forest officer and adviser GK Vashisht said an advisory to conduct the exercise will be issued by PCCF (wildlife) to all park managers in a day or two.
Pench chief conservator of forests (CCF) & field director Ravikiran Govekar said, “We are reviewing number of machans and waterholes. Last year, barring East Pench (Sillari) and Khurspaar areas, the exercise was held in all parks under Pench.”
Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) field director NR Praveen said, “We discussed about it and have decided to conduct the exercise in buffer areas like Adegaon, Madnapur, Navegaon, Junona under TATR.”
“We will allow participants for a nominal fee to be charged for food, water, logistics and other expenses. Two persons accompanied by a forest staff will be allowed on one machan. The exercise will not be carried out in core area,” Praveen said.
APCCF & field director of Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR), MS Reddy, said, “The park has already opened bookings to experience the thrill of being in forest on full moon days in April. We will conduct the exercise by inviting online applications.”
According to wildlife wing officials, the exercise is expected to be conducted over 750 machans in parks under Melghat, Bor, Pench, and Navegaon-Nagzira tiger reserves.
Last year in Melghat, all 480 machans, including those in Katepurna and Dnyanganga sanctuaries, were booked online. The park charged Rs1,500 per person. Some parks also sought fitness certificates issued by registered medical practitioners and undertaking from all participants.
Pench charged Rs1,700 per head from each volunteer for food, coffee table book, water and transportation charges. In Umred-Karhandla, Tipeshwar, Saleghat, New Bor and Painganga, Rs1,200 fee included a T-shirt, food, water and a booklet on wildlife. In Navegaon-Nagzira the exercise was conducted through 125 machans. The park charged Rs1,500 per participant.