The Forest Administration has decided not to give VIPs or their family and friends free safaris in official cars. Deep Narayan Pandey, the chief of the forest forces (HOFF), issued an order prohibiting such activities. Following the directives, VIPs and visitors would be restricted from entering protected areas in Ranthambore National Park, Jhalana Leopard Reserve and Sariska Tiger Reserve among others.
“Government vehicles will not even be provided to researchers. A permission will have to be obtained in writing from the chief wildlife warden or HOFF to take the government vehicles inside the forest in special cases.” - The order
VIPs will have to book a paid safari and will not be permitted to take their private cars. Wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists have applauded this move. According to sources, the decision was made in response to the widespread misuse of authority in allowing VIPs to enter the parks in violation of rules. There were also major violations of NTCA guidelines.
“The full-day and half-day safaris were banned claiming they were disturbing the wildlife. But, real disturbance is created due to the VIP trips to these reserves using government vehicles of the police, administration and forests department.” - A tour operator.