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Deccan Odyssey’s maiden run to Tadoba put off

Times of India, New Delhi, October 6, 2014


The maiden run of much awaited Deccan Odyssey, the luxury train bringing foreign tourists to Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), scheduled for Monday has been deferred. Anjali Tolani, in charge of inbound tours (special projects) of Cox & Kings Ltd, the global promoter and Deccan Odyssey's new operator, said, "Some internal discussions between Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and Cox & Kings have to be done and hence the visit has been deferred." TATR chief conservator of forests (CCF) and field director GP Garad also said that the visit has been postponed. Resort owner and one of the stakeholders Aditya Dhanwatsy said the visit had been put off for technical reasons. A copy of the Deccan Odyssey's one-year schedule beginning October 6, 2014, to September 28, 2015, shows that the train was to make 21 trips to Tadoba and Pench reserves. Of these, four trips were planned to Pench and 17 to Tadoba. Tolani said the remaining trips of the train would be as scheduled.


The next visit of the Odyssey will be on November 3. TOI on April 19 was first to report about the prestigious Deccan Odyssey's visits to Tadoba, Pench and Nagzira. Deccan Odyssey already has 10 journeys on its list including Shirdi and Ganpatipule, beaches, lions and tigers. Adding Tadoba and Pench was expected to tap the international market for wildlife tourism. Already many foreign tourists visit Nagpur, which is also known as 'Gateway to tiger land', en route to Kanha and Tadoba. A section of local Gypsy-owners were disappointed to hear that the tourist train had deferred its journey. "At least, 18 vehicle owners were told to be ready to welcome the tourists but now we will have to wait," said one operator. Meanwhile, even as Tadoba will open fully from October 16, the popular route to Telia dam was opened two days ago. Now tourists visiting the park from Navegaon and Moharli gates before October 16, will get a chance to visit Telia.