Rs 10 crore eco-tourism plan sent to Centre for clearance

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Panaji, Jan 15 (UNI) The state government is awaiting clearance of the consolidated eco-tourism development project in protected areas with a Rs 10 crore outlay sent to the Centre through the state Tourism Department last June.

This was stated by the state Forest Minister Filipe Neri Rodrigues in a written reply to an unstarred question raised by Vasudev Gaunkar (BJP) in the state legislative assembly today.

The five-year-project was to spread awareness of conservation of forest and wildlife besides promoting eco-tourism and hinterland tourism, with tourists evincing keen interest.

The state government has not yet finalised any proposal for developing eco-tourism at Bud-Bud Tali, Sawari water fall, Maina Pee waterfall at Tudav and laying a road from Netravali sanctuary to Zabaulim.

To another question, the Minister told Anant Shet (BJP) that the government has undertaken various steps to maintain ecological balance to sustain wildlife.

Raising of grasslands and their maintenance, planting of fruit bearing trees, removal of eupatorium weeds to facilitate growth of local palatable plan species in the wildlife sanctuaries, construction of check dams, bandharas and waterholes to ensure fresh water availability throughout the year were some of the measures, Mr Rodrigues said.

Besides, the forest department have been conducting nature conservation and education programmes and celebration of wildlife weeks besides other measures including press publicity to spread awareness against poaching, Mr Rodrigues added.

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