The Haryana government has roped in the Haryana Forest Development Corporation (HFDC) for developing former Prime Minister Chandrasekhar’s farmhouse, Bharat Yatra Kendra (popularly known as Bhondsi Ashram), as an Eco-tourism and Nature Awareness Centre.
The HFDC would spend Rs 5 crore on the project.
The Kendra, spread across 558 acres on the foothills of Aravali at Bhondsi village, had been in a dilapidated condition for want of upkeep for the last many years.
The State government had acquired the property after a SC order.
The Kendra, home to wild animals, including leopards and rare birds, has rich biodiversity. Besides HFDC, Bhondsi panchayat will also pool in money to develop the facility.
This centre will be run by the HFDC though the land belongs to the panchayat. The one of its kind centre in NCR, it can host at least 70 tourists at a time.
The Kendra will give a feel of Haryana’s culture.
According to officials, the centre would serve authentic Haryanvi food cooked by local rural women.
The HFDC would employ local youth as gardeners, waiters, guards and guides for forest tours at the centre. The guides will be trained by the wildlife department for the purpose.
“We will build the centre without upsetting the biodiversity and provide a learning centre for students where they could learn about nature. We will also develop more employment options for the villagers,” said Subhash Yadav, regional manager, HFDC.