Govt to develop 5 circuits to promote eco-tourism in U’khanddehradun Updated: May 08, 2017 20:23 IST
Migratory birds at Asan Conservation Reserve that will be covered in the government’s Swadesh Darshan scheme. (HT Photo)
Taking first step towards Swadesh Darshan - a central government scheme to boost tourism in states by linking it with livelihood of villagers - the newly-constituted Eco-Tourism Corporation in Uttarakhand will soon start work on developing five circuits in the state.
A decision on the “pilot project” was taken in a meeting, headed by forest minister Harak Singh Rawat, in Lansdowne on Monday.
The circuits — Haridwar-Lansdowne, Ramnagar-Nainital, Tons Valley and Rishikesh-Dehradun — have been planned in Pauri, Nainital, Dehradun and Champawat districts.
The idea is to link tourism to a prominent Forest Rest House (FRH) and tourist places adjoining it. “The basic objective of the corporation is to link tourism with livelihood of locals. We have taken first step towards it by finalising five circuits, each of which will be liked with FRH. We will seek funds for the development of this model from Swadesh Darshan,” said Anup Malik, managing director, Eco-Tourism Corporation, told Hindustan Times.
Under the scheme, 100% funding will be done by the central government for strengthening infrastructure, capacity building of staff and locals, finding new avenues to connect people with tourism activities and others.
According to the plan, infrastructure development and workshops with locals would be done, followed by detailed linking of livelihood. This would be achieved by offering jobs throughout the circuit at places that will be developed for tourism, promoting manufacture of items made of local produce such as agricultural products and handicrafts.
One key input that came from the forest minister was establishment of bio toilets along the circuits. “Bio-toilets are needed along the circuits to facilitate tourists. This is an effort towards Swacch Bharat mission,” Rawat said during the meeting.
The government plans to develop 30 such circuits, 15 each in Garhwal and Kumaon regions.
The Eco-Tourism Corporation was registered on February 1. Its prime objective is to promote tourism, which was earlier divided between three agencies — forest department, Garhwal-Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam and Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board. Now, the corporation has the liberty to take up eco-tourism activities single-handedly.
Tourism circuits to be developed
Tons Circuit: Tyuni-Arakot-Thadiyar-Mori area - Motad-Har Ki Dun-Sankri area - Changsheel-Dev Van-Balcha area, Asan Barrage
Rishikesh-Dehradun circuits: Thano, Sanjay Jheel, Ranichauri, Madannegi, Dhanaulti, Devalsari, Nandhaur, Chorgaliya, Ghoom on the banks of Sharda
Pauri circuit: Chilla, Rasiabad, Sneha, Kotdwar, Kholuchaud, Sendikhal, Tarkeshwar and Lansdowne
Ramnagar-Nainital circuit: Garjia, Sitabani, Devidhura, Kilbury, Vinayak and Kunjakhadak.