Govt rushes in to protect Kaas plateau from marauding tourists

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Govt rushes in to protect Kaas plateau from marauding tourists

Starting 10 August 2016, nature enthusiasts may not find it as easy to descend on Kaas on a leisurely weekend.

The Kaas Plateau is a magnet for bird watchers, nature lovers and plain old tourists looking for a different experience. 25 Km away from Satara District H.Q. & 20 Km away from Northern part of Koyana Sanctuary, it is known locally as ‘Kas Pathar’ or ‘Plateau of Flowers’.The major portion of the plateau is Reserve Forest. Kas plateau is listed under the Protection Working Circle.

Kaas_Plateau,_PuneThe Maharashtra forest department has now decided to allow only 3000 visitors each day to the site to put a stop to the wanton destruction being caused to the natural habitat by the constant stream of visitors.
Henceforth, tourists will only be allowed in batches of 750 in four slots, with each slot extending to three hours. In addition, the bookings will be done online on the forest department’s website. Vehicles will be asked to park at designated places. Apart from tourists visiting the plateau to check out the blooms, there are several who visit the area to check out the Thoseghar falls. Entry and exit to these places too will be monitored from now on. The new rules kick into place from 10 August 2016.

Cynotis_tuberosaThe Kaas plateau is visited the most during the months of August and September when it is blooming season. The Unesco World Heritage site is also an extremely ecologically fragile location. The plateau is rich in its bio-diversity. Many species which are still new to botanical science are observed on plateau. Many of the endemic, endangered plants are found on Plateau. More than 850 species of flowering plants are reported. 624 species have entered in the Red Data Book. Out of these 624 sp., 39 species are found in Kas region.

While the online ticketing will start from 10 August, there will also be an increase in the fees to Rs 50 from the earlier Rs 10 per person, it is learnt.