Friday, March 26, 2010

Bungalows within the Wilpattu National Park – when will they reopen?

A current view of the Kokmote Bungalow which is mercifully structurally intact.

With the recent opening of the Wilpattu National Park to day visitors, people have been streaming into this park hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive leopard. The real experience for veteran park visitors was staying inside the park as it takes a very long time to get to the exit from some parts, denying day visitors of sighting this beast.

The oya running by the side of Kokmote bungalow, a stunning location and great spot for bathing.

Once inside the park, one can get back to the bungalow by curfew time after the dusk sighitngs and the thrill of leaving at dawn, another time to spot many animals and birds. This is not open to those who have to wait in line for park openings and all the time consuming bureaucracy that it entails missing the chance of most of the sightings. In the past I have stayed in many of the bungalows and really enjoyed the experience and so I am loathe to be a day tripper to the park as I know it is a futile exercise, only consuming a lot of fuel and frustration for little reward.

It seems to me that there is little indication that the authorities will be able to open these dwellings for a very long time, one reason being the lack of funds for renovation of some of these damaged properties. I suggest they get some big companies to sponsor a bungalow as part of their CSR, and for that privilege give them a 3 weeks stay at those bungalows. Due to the high demand for these properties, I suggest they charge a fee commensurate with the exclusivity, saying that 20% of the charge will go for conservation, which will then also satisfy the CSR objectives in funding such projects.

One must sympathize with the Park Warden who is struggling to manage this property, grossly under resourced and if you read the article below you will see a suggestion out of his dilemma which can only help the situation in the longer term, and prevent poaching, illicit logging, encroachment onto the adjoining forest that acts as a buffer zone, and the desecration of archeological sites.

I continue to reiterate that this blog is called Kalpanakaranna as we in SL just don’t do the simple things. If we do, many of the supposed problems we have got ourselves into can be solved quite simply, and more importantly without delay. So those with the power to do something don’t sit on your ASSES warming the chairs of your bureaucratic Castles at the public’s expense. If you cant do your job, give it to someone who can.

Another view of Kokmote bungalow from Moderagam Aru which borders the North Western End of the Park


Kaushal said...

Im soo interested about 'Kokmote'.. hoping to visit this June.
Since i haven't been there before, i want to know a transport method.. there about 20 including me. With your experience, hope you will be assist me on transportation.

Anonymous said...

i note that last sunday either May 9th or 16th Basil Rajapakse went to Kokmote and has requested a master plan for the immediate rehabilitation of the park bungalows. You never know, your blog may have had something to do with it, after you pointed out the urgency for such action

Anonymous said...

You are right, Min Basil instructed Navy to immedietly start renovation of the Kokmote and few other bungalows, Navy engineers are at the task and they do maintain thier schedules....expect a renovated Kokmote very soon, I think Min Basil will do the honours of re opeing it