HP gets Rs 295 Lakh to develop eco-tourism

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Shimla, Aug 27 (UNI) For developing eco-tourism circuits in Kullu, Kinnaur, Shimla and Bilaspur districts the Central Government has released Rs 295 lakhs, Himachal Pradesh Forest Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda said.

"The state government is boosting eco-tourism in the state in order to attract more tourists. The existing eco-tourism sites and circuits in Great Himalayan National Park Kullu, Chamba and Shimla wild life and forest divisions would be strengthened by developing additional infrastructure," Mr Nadda said while addressing a meeting of the forest department here last evening.

He said that the forest department would support the tourism department for promoting eco-tourism activities and added that capacity building was essential to further strengthen eco-tourism in the state.

The Forest Minister said that HP State Forest Corporation would manage seven eco-tourism sites and added that the Corporation was already developing an eco-tourism site at Narkanda, which would be operational by first half of September 2008. He said that the remaining new sites would be operational before the next tourism season during summer of 2009.

"The state attracts tourists from all over the country and abroad due to its natural beauty, which should be protected at all costs." He stressed upon the need to formulate guidelines for protecting the natural environment in the eco-tourism sites, which should be followed strictly by the tourists besides the local people.

The local guides should be trained so that they could generate awareness about the guidelines among the tourists, he said.

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