Aug 13, 2014
LUCKNOW: Staying in Dudhwa’s tharu huts can make the trip to state’s biggest tiger reserve even more fun-filled. But, every tourist season it’s VIPs making a beeline to the reserve that keeps commoners away. Those who get an allotment should be lucky enough to not get it cancelled at the eleventh hour if ministers, bureaucrats and their kins are around.
Online bookings will make allotment of rest houses in protected areas fair. With new tourist season starting in October, facility would begin in selected wildlife and bird sanctuaries like Nawabganj (Unnao), Sandi (Hardoi), Katarniaghat, Chuka (Pilibhit) and Samaspur (Raebareli).
“We plan to take up few centres first and equip them will all tourist facilities,” said MD, UP Forest Corporation (UPFC), Iqbal Singh. UP forest department’s website has information on different categories of eco-tour packages available. It will also inform nature lovers about UP’s eco-tourism sites.
UP has one national park, 11 wildlife and 24 bird sanctuaries but eco-tourism in the state has been limited to Dudhwa national park and some random locations around it. The state never had an eco-tourism policy.
On Tuesday, UP cabinet approved eco-tourism policy with four guiding principles —conserving environment, developing community based tourism, developing partnership with the private sector and creating and upgrading infrastructure facilities for tourists in wildlife sanctuaries.
UP forest department has tied up with an NGO to promote `environment education’ which is also a part of eco-tourism. A conservator level officer has been appointed only for the sake of promoting eco-tourism.
“It also aims at gainful employment of local people,” said the official. Locals, who mostly are rural folks, will be encourages to play hosts or guides to tourists and will be paid for the services.
Potential eco-tourism sites in UP:
Katarniaghat on Gerua river in Bahraich; Chuka ghat in Pilibhit on Sharda dam; Chambal ravines in Agra; Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary in Unnao; Chandraprabha Rajdari water falls and Deodari water falls in Varanasi; Sarsainawar Sarus Sanctuary in Etawah; Sandi Bird Sanctuary in Hardoi; Noida Bird Sanctuary and Kalpi river cruise in Yamuna in Jalau.
As posted in Timesofindia.indiatimes.com