Eco-tourism policy to be put up before Centre soon: Pachpute

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Nagpur, Nov 29 (UNI) The eco-tourism policy, which is expected to boost tourism and employment in the state, would be put up for approval before the Centre soon, Minister for Forests Babanrao Pachpute told the Maharashtra Legislative Council today.

Replying to a discussion initiated by Zainudding Zaveri (Independent), Mr Pachptue said that 56 spots in Vidarbha had been identified for development under this policy. Tribal children in these areas would be trained in tourism-related skills such as tourist guides and hotel staff, he said.

The state government would soon start the process of rehabilitating 87 villages in various forests in the state, as the Centre has increased the compensation to be given to forest dwellers for their re-settlement outside the forests from Rs 1 lakh per family to Rs 5 lakh, he added.

Mr Pachpute said that Maharashtra was the only state in which the number of tigers has been increasing. As per the 2006 Tiger Census, there were 268 tigers in Maharashtra and the wildlife sanctuary at Tadoba, Chandrapur has become one of the top 10 tiger reserves in the country, he informed.

No irrigation project in Vidarbha had been held up at present due to provisions of Forest Protection Act 1980, Mr Pachpute added.

UNI

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