Three new ecotourism spots on the anvil in Odisha


Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s government has decided to create three new ecotourism sites in the state and employ a community-based management (CBM) approach to operate them, as it has been successful in generating income for tribal families, a official press release.

Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, in a virtual meeting, asked the Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation to acquire non-forest plots near popular ecotourism centers and develop them into tourism and tourism units. Home.

“CBM has provided alternative and sustainable livelihoods to many people who otherwise depended on the forest. It also empowered people and instilled a sense of belonging to the forest and wildlife among them, ”he said at the meeting.

Proposals have been approved to develop the new eco-spots with overnight facilities near Deomali – the highest peak in Odisha – in the district of Koraput, Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary in Kandhamal and the Nawana Valley. in Mayurbhanj.

Mohapatra ordered the forestry department to immediately release funds to develop the spots and maintain their “pristine character with adequate remediation”, according to the official statement.

A proposal to form a high profile company to enhance professionalism in the sector was also discussed at the meeting, he said.

Additional Chief Forestry Secretary Mona Sharma said eco-retirement activities typically involve private investment in the sector.

“Reception centers and hotels have already been set up near Daringibadi and Konark. Some investors have also expressed interest in starting private businesses in areas like Deomali, ”the official said.

Senior Chief Wildlife Conservator Sashi Paul Forest said that 47 eco-tourism destinations have become operational in 18 districts of Odisha since the CBM model launched in 2016.

This has increased the income of many tribal families in the districts, Paul said.

Among the new spots that have been developed this year are Nrusinghanath in Bargarh, the pine forest of Koraput and the Patora dam in Nuapada.

The number of visitors to these eco-destinations increased from 11,500 in 2016-17 to around 57,000 in 2020-21. Tourists from 18 countries visited the eco-spots with overnight stops, according to the press release.

Revenues generated by ecotourism have increased from Rs 1.57 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 8.32 crore in 2020-21, he noted.

In the CBM model, around 90 percent of the revenue generated by the eco-spots is shared with the members of the respective communities who manage the spots.

PTI

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