At one time people were not allowed to go to Chernobyl. The reason was the nuclear accident in 1986, 33 years ago. But with the passage of time, Chernobyl is now slowly turning to adventure-loving strollers. Some of these strollers are those who are spending the whole night in the recently opened hostels of the government in Chernobyl. Such interest of the people in the most dangerous nuclear accident place of the world surprises us a lot. The distance from India to Ukraine is about five thousand kilometers. There is a Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (prohibition) in an area of 30 kilometers, two hours from Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. It is counted among those few dangerous places in the world, where people can stay only for a certain time. Not doing so can feast danger.
No one can reach this place easily. We have to be equipped with special permission from the government and radiation monitoring equipment to reach here. Every morning a bus with a special tour guide and people visiting here arrives in this deserted area. Since the government of Ukraine opened this place to tourists in 2011, thousands of people have come here so far. People coming here also include foreigners. In such a situation, the government has opened a new hostel within the exclusive zone some time ago. Here you can spend one night just by spending 500 rupees. The business of this 96-bed hostel is growing rapidly. The reason is tourists coming from America, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Poland, and the UK.
Hostel manager Svitlana Gritsenko says, “When people come to stay here, they are clearly warned that it is not safe to stay outside.” Chernobyl seems like at first glance, it is still stuck in the old times. But this hostel of Chernobyl is equipped with modern T-rooms designed for guests and high-speed Wi-Fi.
The experiences of visiting Chernobyl are truly amazing. Tourists have to pass through the radiation check. Children are not allowed here. There are strict rules about where Chernobyl is not to be visited at all and not to touch anything.
Guides get a paper signed before going here. Terms and conditions are written here in this paper. The guides tell you what to eat, whether to drink, and to roam or not. The radiation check before going from this place. People who come here may have to leave their shoes after failing in that check. But such warnings do not seem to have any effect on the tourists who like the thrill.
Now, 20 kilometers from Chernobyl, we walk towards Prayat. On April 26, 1986, Unit-4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant exploded and radioactive material dissolved in the air. After this accident, the time has come to a halt for the practice. Within a few weeks of this accident, 30 employees who had come to help and lost their lives. About two lakh people in this area were then rescued.
People coming here can see the rubble-laden buildings in Veeran Prayat from the line. The yellow color of the snow-capped cars and the Vishala Ferry wheel, that is, the large swing has not yet landed. Seeing a baby doll on the bed in a children’s hostel is a little scary in the mind. The government of Ukraine says that this zone is not dangerous, just you have to adopt a sensible attitude.
The Ecology and Natural Resource Minister of Ukraine, Ostep Semerak, says, “You will feel safe here only if you strictly follow the rules here.” As soon as you are negligent, your health may be threatened. “Around 10,000 people worked for four years to build a kind of tent built to cover the nuclear reactor,” says Semerak. It is obvious that he had done this by risking his life.
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