Here’s some bad news for those who had planned to go for the Gir Jungle Trail during the upcoming tourist season. For, the e-permits for the Gir Jungle Trail on the day the sanctuary opens for visitors — on October 17 — have already been lapped up.
If that isn’t enough, the e-permits for the Diwali period (November 3 to 12) for the trail are also off the block. E-permits refer to the online booking of the Gir Jungle Trail and the Devaliya Interpretation Centre. However, online booking for the Devaliya Interpretation Centre is still available.
It should be noted that this is for the first time that visitors have been offered the facility to book their Gir Safari and Devaliya Interpretation Centre online. Though online tickets for October 17 and those during the Diwali Vacation have been booked, tickets for the trail will still be available if booked manually.
“So far we have issued 1,890 e-permits. Each permit allows for the travel of 6 people in a Jeep. Of this most of the booking has come from Indians. For Devaliya, 212 bookings have been done,” said chief wildlife warden CN Pandey.
The forest department has so far earned Rs17.19 lakh from the e-permits issued for the jungle trail while the income from Devaliya is Rs1.14 lakh. It should be noted that normally 90 permits are issued per day for the jungle trail which goes up to 150 permits during festive seasons like Diwali and Christmas. The trail is available in three slots 6am to 9 am, 9am to 12 pm and 3pm to 6 pm.
The Gir Sanctuary is scheduled to be opened on October 16 after it was closed during the monsoon. Tourists will be allowed into the sanctuary from October 17 onwards. The online facility was made available after requests from tourists and tour operators who had complained about the long-queue outside the ticketing windows particularly during the festive season. The online booking for the safari can be done 90 days in advance.