Hathnikund barrage to be developed as tourist spot

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Yamunanagar, Jul 19 (UNI) Haryana Minister of State for Forest, Environment and Tourism, Mrs Kiran Choudhry today said that 18 acres of land has been allotted to the Tourism Department at Hathnikund Barrage in the district where world class hotels would be constructed within a year to attract tourists to visit this place.

Mrs Choudhry was addressing mediapersons after dedicating the "Elephant Rehabilitation and Research Centre" in memory of former minister and her late husband Surender Singh. This Centre which is first of its kind in India is being established at Ban Santor of the district with the financial assistance of Rs 90 lakh from the Central Government.

The Panchayats of nearby villages in Chhachhrauli area had requested the State Government to name the Centre in Mr Surender Singh's name. Mr Surender Singh was an avid wildlife lover and was instrumental in establishing Bhiwani Zoo way back in 1982.

While briefing the mediapersons, she said that recently an agreement was signed with Wildlife SOS, an NGO of great repute to manage this centre. Wildlife SOS was managing a Bear Rescue Centre at Agra for the last 12 years and other such centers at four different places in India.

In this centre 50 acres of land had been reserved for rehabilitation purpose and other 400 acres of land had been kept for the movement and exercise of elephants.

She added that domestic elephants which had been kept illegally by owners would be seized and brought to this centre. Initially 20 elephants will be accomodated at the Centre.

She stressed on eco-tourism development for keeping equilibrium of environmental level.

She advocated that the farmers should adopt agro-forestry for increasing their income and the forest department would supply saplings to them free of cost. She added that 10 per cent area of Haryana would be brought under forest cover by 2010.

She exhorted the public to come forward to save the forests and wildlife in the state. She said that an awareness campaign would be launched to make the people aware on the need to save forests and wildlife.

Later she inaugurated a tourist hut on the bankd of the Yamuna river at Kalesar Forest Rest House and also inaugurated 4 water bodies to provide drinking water to wild animals.

UNI HS JS1852

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