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Express presents blueprint sustainable Sunderbans eco-tourism

Written by: Staff
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Kolkata, Aug 24 (UNI) Express Eco-Tourism Private Limited (EETPL) has launched an innovative sustainable tourism project to conserve the ecology of Sunderbans while developing the area with an outlay plan of Rs 108 crore spanning 200 acres.

Talking to reports Express Vice-President Rupam Banerjee said, "EETPL envisages a capital outlay of Rs 108 crore (without the cost of land and land development) for its Sundorbon Ecoworld Project." "The project is expected to provide direct employment to nearly 600 people and indirect employment to nearly 1250 people. In addition, a few hundred people shall also be provided with livelihood by formation of SHGs," he added.

Sundorbon Ecoworld, is a modular approach to set up a sustainable tourism programme at Sundarban spreading across a vast area.

The feasibility report is ready and now they have submitted it to the West Bengal government. "We hope to implement it within the next two years," he said.

The Sundorbon Ecoworld will create Eco Villages at two locations featured with resort having facilities like Swimming Pool, Spa, Multi Gym, Jacuzzi, Playground and Indoor Games, children's Park, Amphitheater, Walk Through, convention and Conference Centres, Museum etc. Other activities there include captive power generation using Non-Conventional Energy Sources, Rainwater Harvesting and Treatment Plant for Drinking Water, Organic Farming, Poly Houses, Scientific Aquaculture, Livestock Farming, Craft House, Basic and Vocational Education support, Health Support, Seamless Copmmunication System etc.

Those activities shall be managed by formation of Self Help Groups (SHG).

An additional medium and low budget Tourist Camp, centralised 50-bed hospitals in two locations. In addition multiple minor medical units in different locations and water based mobile health units.

Research Institute for study on Environmental Impact, Agriculture in saline water, Eco-fishing etc. and latest technology based, international standard Weather Unit for observation, analysis and forecasting.

It is highly required for natural calamity prone places like Sundarban, Banerjee added.

A Radio Sundarban, an FM broadcasting unit to be used for different advisory services and cultural conservation will also be set up along with forest based adventure tourism, while adhering to norms for forest protection and water based Activities-Accomodation Vessels-Safari Vehicles-Transportation Vehicles and astronomical observatory.

While Express will bear around 30 per cent of the capital, the rest will be raised from two venture capital companies. They have also received positive vives from National Geographic and the UN.

Talks are also on with the forest and land departments of West Bengal government for entering into specific MOUs with them.

"We are very happy with the progress we have made," he said.

To roll on with our dream project, opening of a medical unit in association with Elevation cultural Forum, an NGO, At Raipara in Dulduli island of Hingalganj Block-II in North 24 Parganas on August 27, 2006, is a humble initialization. Over 100,000 villagers under six Gram Panchayats shall be directly benefited from unit by means of medical consultation and free medicine.

"We propose at least 20 such medical units in different parts of the Sundarban as part of Sundorbon Ecoworld," Banerjee added.

UNI BA PL KLC1401

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