With strict Covid-19 protocols, all parks, garden and botanical gardens in West Bengal will reopen from September 23, and zoos, national parks and sanctuaries from October 2 after a gap of more than six months.
The Forest Department, in a notification on Friday, issued guidelines for visitors on precautions required to be taken against the coronanvirus.
The notification said, “While the effect of the pandemic is still being felt, in view of the graded unlocking and requirement to restart economic and related activities thereby mitigating avoidable hardships to various stakeholders, it has been decided to allow public to access various establishments of the Forest Department with appropriate restrictions in view of the pandemic.”
In the first phase of reopening, elephant safari will be banned, visitors have to wear masks and tickets need to be booked online.
At national parks and sanctuaries, no one shall deboard the vehicle except at designated places and passengers will be occupy alternate seats, according to the notification.
“At designated places where guests are allowed to disembark, such as watch towers etc., the limit of persons allowed at any given time will be limited to 20 persons only. This will be controlled by the number of vehicles allowed access to the site and will be enforced by the designated guide of the vehicle. All such locations shall be sanitised twice during the course of the day, once when the tower is opened and next at mid time,” said the notification.
According to the Forest Department, Darjeeling and Kolkata zoo may see heavy footfall. To manage the crowd, only 5,000 visitors will be allowed in the Kolkata zoo daily and 2,000 in the Darjeeling zoo. The state has a total of 12 zoos.
“The food centres inside the enclosed area will be restricted to 30% of the capacity. Canteen and cafeteria staff shall should be asked to serve food packets in disposable containers,” the guidelines said.
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