Kendrapara, Feb 10 (LocalWire): Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy, V. Karthikeya Pandian, the Secretary of Transformation and Initiatives (5Tst), accompanied by tourism department director Sachin Ramachandra Yadav on Monday visited the Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district to chalk out plans for eco-tourism in the region.
All the officials arrived at the makeshift helipad at Khamarasahi near the park and visited Crocodile Breeding and Rearing Center at Dangamala.
They discussed the tactics to promote eco-tourism in Bhitarkanika and Gahiramatha Marine Sanctuary to attract more tourists to both the places.
The officials planned eco-tourism as an activity that will create employment opportunities for many villagers around the Bhitarkanika National Park.
“Eco-tourism in Bhitarkanika is a big employment generator and has a multiplier impact on the economy as it is a major contributor to employment creation particularly for women and youths, fishermen, etc. which will lead to the reduction of poverty and to the promotion of socio-economic development and decent work,” said Samatha Verma, the district collector of Kendrapada.
Eco-tourism may be developed without causing any damage to the vegetation and wildlife inside the forest.
Because of the prevailing weather conditions, tourism may be limited to winter months only.
Water transport and accommodation facilities inside the forests are to be created to attract local and foreign tourists added the Collector.
Bhitarkanika National Park is India’s second-largest mangrove forest.
The water bodies of the park are replete with around 1700 salt-water crocodiles.
It is also the abode of birds, spotted deer, snakes, etc.
The recreational potentiality of the region has never been utilized properly.
Facilities needed for the tourists have not been developed. There is an immense potentiality of the park for earning more through eco-tourism.
“Eco-tourism spots nearby Bhitrakanika like the Royal Palace in Rajkanika, the century-old Hukitola building at the Hukitola Island, the 150-year-old sunken ship near Hukitola, etc.
can easily attract tourists from everywhere,” said Hemant Rout, the Secretary of Gahiramatha Marine Turtle Protection and Mangrove Conservation Society (GMTMCS).
Edited by Meenal Singh