Berhampur (Odisha), Sep 14: Mangalajodi, the second largest hotspot for birds on the northern banks of Chilika Lake in Odisha, is set to be developed into an ecotourism destination.
To attract nature-lovers and bird watchers, the forest department will construct at least a dozen rooms, watchtowers and nature trails at Mangalajodi, where lakhs of migratory birds flock to during winter.
"The government has sanctioned Rs 2 crore for the construction of the rooms. The work is expected to be completed by the end of March 2017," divisional forest officer, Chilka Wildlife Division, Bikash Ranjan Das, said.
After 15.69 sq km Nalabana, the bird sanctuary inside the Chilika, Mangalajodi is the second largest hotspot for the winged guests.
Apart from the migratory birds, several species of domestic birds are also sighted at Mangalajodi throughout the year and some of them nest in the place.
"Our aim is to attract tourists in all seasons," the DFO said.
Currently, visitors to the place go to the nearby jetty to enjoy the chirping of the avian guests.
Tourists started thronging Mangalajodi for watching birds as the forest department barred their entry to Nalabana after it was declared a sanctuary, official sources said.
"We have decided to disallow vehicles to the birding site during the migratory season this year. Instead of motor vehicles, we will operate e-rickshaws," Das said.
The order to procure six solar-powered e-rickshaws has already been placed. The vehicles will reach Chilika soon, the sources added.
The carrying capacity of each e-rickshaw is four.
"The local people would be involved in operating the e-rickshaws," the DFO added.