Three solar-powered vehicles started plying in the Bhitarkanika National Park on Monday when the park was opened to tourists after three months. Tourists will have to pay Rs 20 a person to travel in the vehicle to the core areas of the mangrove forest.
“The pollution-free and soundless vehicles would be useful for tourists as vehicular traffic is prohibited in the park. The vehicles are eco-friendly as these do not emit any smoke. Besides, the slow-moving vehicle would not be the cause for any accident for people walking in the forest,” said divisional forest officer Bimal Prasan Acharya.
The three vehicles were bought for 5.25 lakh and each can carry five persons. “Earlier, elderly people and women struggled to trek along the forest to reach the forest guest houses at Dangamala. Forest officials usually stop all vehicles a few metres away from the entrance of Bhitarkanikaa,” added the forest officer.
More than 40 mechanised boats operate in Bhitarkanika daily to ferry tourists. These boats have a 9HP diesel engine that create a lot of noise invading the park’s tranquillity.