Monday, October 31, 2016

Eco-tourism to conserve forests, wildlife

| TNN |
Varanasi: The department of tourism has joined hands with the forest department to promote eco-tourism to help in conservation of forests and wildlife in Uttar Pradesh. The department of tourism will provide civic and tourist amenities in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries jointly with forest department to attract visitors.

The state government has created nine ecotourism circuits to connect 34 ecotourism destinations in UP. One of the circuits Vindhya Mountain Circuit in eastern UP covers forest areas and wildlife sanctuaries of Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary (Mirzapur), Chandraprabha Wildlife Sanctuary (Chandauli), Hathinala (Sonbhadra), Vijaygarh (Sonbhadra) and Chunar/Vindham (Mirzapur).

"We have invested Rs 1.5 crore to improve amenities for tourists at Rajdari and Deodari waterfalls in Chandraprabha Wildlife sanctuary in Chandauli district. Besides, a fund of Rs 2.7 crore was invested for the conservation of Salkhan Fossil Park and tourist amenities in Sonbhadra district," regional tourism officer Ravindra Kumar Mishra said. According to ecotourism policy, the ecotourism plan for forest areas and nearby tourist destinations will be conservation centric. UP, with its 16,620 sq km forest area, is home to some exquisitely beautiful landscapes, forest vistas, meandering rivers and beautiful waterfalls and a large number of endangered birds and animals. There is one national park, 11 wildlife sanctuaries and 24 bird sanctuaries to provide protection to endangered biodiversity.

For the promotion of ecotourism, nine circuits have been created that include Western Wildlife Circuit, Lion Safari and Riverine Circuit, Terai Tiger Circuit, Bundelkhand Adventure Circuit, Vindhya Mountain Circuit, Western Bird/wetland Circuit, Central Bird/Wetland Circuit, Ganga Basin Circuit and Eastern Wildlife Circuit.

The Vindhya Mountain Circuit spreads in Chandauli, Mirzapur and Sonbhadra districts of eastern UP. It has Chandraprabha Wildlife Sanctuary and Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary. The Chandra Prabha Wildlife Sanctuary is the part of Kashi Wildlife Division situated in Chandauli district. It is endowed with beautiful picnic spots, dense forests and scenic waterfalls like Rajdari and Devdari. Once it was also the home of Asiatic lions brought here from the Gir forest of Gujarat.

Kaimoor Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Kaimur hills range in Mirzapur and Sonbhadra districts. It is the largest sanctuary in the state and occupies an area of about 1342 sq km. This sanctuary has ancient cave paintings and a fossil park. According to records, the animals making part of the habitat of the sanctuary are tigers, leopards, wild boars, sambar deer, chitals, four-horned antelope and nilgai. It is home to more than 70 species of resident birds, which stay here all around the year. The number increases in the migratory season during the winters, when there is an influx of birds from the Central Asia.

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