Eco-Tourism Board to develop 61 tourism areas

Bhopal. Eco Tourism Development Board will develop 61 entertainment and wildlife experience areas in the state at a cost of Rs 27 crore 45 lakhs next year. Besides this, eco tourism will be developed in the buffer regions of Panna, Pench, Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Satpuda and Sanjay Tiger Reserve at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore out of which works worth Rs one crore 70 lakh are in progress. With this, tourists will get new well-equipped entertainment areas. This information was given at a meeting of the general body of Eco Tourism Development Board presided over by Forests, Planning, Economics and Statistics Minister Dr. Gaurishankar Shejwar.

Additional Chief Secretary Forests, Deepak Khandekar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Dr. Animesh Shukla, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Jitendra Agrawal, Managing Director, Forest Development Corporation Ravi Shrivastava and Chief Executive Officer  Pushkar Singh were also present at the meeting.

Over 65 thousand tourists reach Buffer Zone in 8 months: Eco Tourism Development Board has started an online booking portal since May 22, 2017 due to which 65 thousand 347 tourists booked in Buffer Zone of the Tiger Reserve from July 2017 to February 2018 and enjoyed eco tourism. This number is expected to reach one lakh in the tourism year from July to June. Parks have received more than Rs one crore revenue from this. The tourists include 59 thousand 255 tourists from India and 6092 foreign tourists against 72 thousand tourists last year. These Buffer Zones are- Sehra and Patai in Satpuda, Panpatha, Dhamokhar and Manpur in Bandhavgarh, Rukhad Ari Khavasa in Pench, Kumbhpani, Sijhoura in Kanha, Khapa and Khatiya, Ranehfal, Harsa, Hinouta in Panna and Dubri in Sanjay tiger reserve.

It was told at the meeting that in order to provide better facilities to the tourists, training was given in hospitality, tourism management, marine training and adventure activities. The Board is providing employment to local rural youths through hospitality and adventure activities. Forest Minister Shejwar reviewed activities of Gopalpur Butterfly Park, Kathoutia, Samardha, Panarpani (Satpuda Tiger Reserve), Boriya Mal, Kukru, Noulakhi, Gunjari Tapu, Pathariya Hat, Amoda Garg Siya Chowki, Parsapani tourist spots.

Besides senior officials of Forest Department, officials from other departments including Urban Administration, Sports and Youth Welfare, Archaeology, Panchayat and Rural Development, Education etc. were also present at the meeting.