Published on : Monday, November 6, 2017
Ecotourism is the new buzzword in Odisha but the spotlight would shortly shift from popular destinations including major wildlife sanctuaries to smaller but attractive sites like Pakidi hills and Betnai at Aska in Ganjam.
According to a forest department official, “We have several wildlife sanctuaries, which draw tourists almost round the year. But, we also need to develop the smaller and, in some cases, less popular sites.” He stressed on the need to develop quality facilities at such places for tourists.
The Pakidi hills and nearby villages are gaining popularity as a safe haven for peacocks. Ghumsar divisional forest officer (south) Bijay Ketan Acharya said that Pakidi was a separate and protected forest and there was an eco-cottage near Chermaria village in its periphery. The cottage is located strategically on the Berhampur-Aska road.
Nature enthusiasts are of the opinion that more works needs to be done to make places like Pakidi hills and Betnai more attractive where black bucks can be seen roaming freely. These places need to be made attractive for tourists with proper facilities and transportation.
The Odisha state government is trying to leverage its natural wealth, especially lakes and wildlife sanctuaries, with a view to double tourist footfall. Efforts are on to develop ecotourism destinations with active participation of wildlife officials and local communities. In the first phase, infrastructure development is being undertaken at 30 sites for Rs. 21 crores.
Tags: Odisha Tourism