NAGPUR: With trained wildlife guides in Kanha tiger reserve on strike it’s the tourists who are bearing the brunt of inexperienced hands. Over 51 trained guides, affiliated to the Madhya Pradesh Wildlife Tiger Project Guide Sangh, Kanha, are on strike since May 1 demanding hike in remuneration from the existing Rs 150 to Rs 300.
Of this amount, they want Rs 50 be allocated for retirement benefits. This apart, they are demanding group insurance for guides working in all the national parks and sanctuaries in the state.
The Guide Sangh president Ramsunder Pandey says, “If the authorities are not ready to meet these demands, they should regularise us.” However, the issue seems to be reached a deadlock with neither the guides nor the forest officials ready to budge, leaving the tourists to suffer.
Many tourists want an early resolution to the dispute between guides and officials. “We’ve full sympathy for the striking guides, but the additional remuneration of Rs 300 per trip as demanded by them is too much and burden the tourists only. Already, the park entry fee has gone up by almost 50% from this year,” said Mayank Mishra, a tourist.