Here is some good news for nature lovers: the tourist spots in Krishna, East and West Godavari districts that have remained closed for the last six months due to the COVID-induced lockdown will be opened soon.

The tourist places being guarded by the Forest Department will be open to public after the Dasara festival.

Meanwhile, some people who are visiting these sites on weekends unaware of the restrictions are returning disappointed. There were also instances of people getting into heated arguments with the forest personnel for not allowing them to visit lakes and beaches.

“We have come from Khammam district to visit Hamsaladeevi but the forest officials did not allow us to go there. Our appeals for permission as we have come from a long distance fell on deaf ears,” lamented a visitor K. Krishna Reddy.

A similar situation was seen at Atapaka on Krishna-West Godavari district borders, in Kolleru lake.

“Thousands of people from A.P. and the neighbouring States visit the Atapaka Bird Sanctuary to enjoy the boating and watch the pelicans and other birds in the lake. Already, the winged visitors reached the sanctuary,” said a visitor B. Vaishali of Narsapuram in West Godavari district.

However, the forest personnel said as the sea was rough and the lake was filled to the brim, visitors were not being allowed as a precautionary measure.

Eluru Divisional Forest Officer (DFO-Wild Life Management) C. Selvam said plans were afoot to reopen tourist places in the division.

“We will open the Atapaka Bird Sanctuary, Hamsaladeevi, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary and other places in the Eluru division shortly,” he said.

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