In an attempt to achieve the twin goals of boosting ecotourism and increasing employment opportunities, the government of Uttar Pradesh has identified 56 ecotourism sites in 56 districts under the “One District, a destination” (ODOD).
The concept is to identify a destination in each district that could qualify as an ecotourism location to attract nature lovers.
On the instructions of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the Forestry Department is identifying potential areas in each district of the state that will be developed under the ODOD program, so that these sites can be incorporated into tourism.
UP has several ecotourism sites, but the most important are tiger reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, and wetlands. Katarniya Ghat Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the upper Ganges plain falling to Bahraich, boasts of having tigers and a mosaic of sal and teak wood. Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary is notable for being the natural habitat of ‘barasingha’ (swamp deer).
Similarly, Majhauli Sagar of Siddharthnagar, Badela Tal (lake) of Azamgarh and Ghoomar Tal of Jaunpur will soon get special recognition as ecotourism destinations. Also, many such areas with serene natural beauty will be visible on the ecotourism map.
Giving details of the scheme, a Forestry Department official said, “There is immense potential for ecotourism in UP. The location of each district is adapted to specific natural, environmental or wildlife tourism. If these places are interconnected, it can attract tourists for picnics or day trips.
The manager added, “Similar places will be selected and developed under ODOD. Basic facilities such as toilets, roads, electricity, water, toilets, rest rooms as well as security arrangements will be made at the selected sites. An ecotourism council is also being created for this.
The 56 destinations include – Dudhwa National Park in Lakhimpur Kheri, Chandra Prabha Wildlife Sanctuary in Chandauli and Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary in Bahraich.
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