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Bihar govt to invest on eco tourism in state

Source : BUSINESS_STANDARD
Last Updated: Mon, Nov 05, 2012 19:13 hrs

Bihar government is betting big on eco-tourism, especially in Valmiki Nagar Tiger Reserve. The reserve is situated on the Indo-Nepal border and state government has recently inaugurated jungle safari for this area. The state government is also developing basic infrastructures to make it a tourist attraction.

"A great number of tourists, both domestic and international, are now heading for Bihar. We want to provide verity to them," said Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, "this is why, the state government has begun its ambitious eco-tourism project.

In this project, we have especially selected Valmiki Nagar as a prominent spot. It is only tiger reserve of the state and few people know about it. So, it's kind of virgin territory. Now with the clearance from Supreme Court, the state government started jungle safari here."

He recalled, "Earlier, this place did not have any facilities, yet local tourists used to come to see the Gandak Barrage. Now, with facilities in place, we reckon more tourists will come here."The Valmiki Nagar Reserve Forest is spread over 900 sqkms, with 600 sqkms as core area and rest as buffer area. Tigers, Cheetal, Samber, Barking Deers, Wild Boars and Indian Bisons are the major attractions here. Modi said, "Eco tourism will not only attract tourists, but also create employment opportunities for the local youth. ‘We are working on a proposal to promote bed and breakfast for those tourists, who want to stay with villagers. State government has planned to provide 24X7 electricity in this area."

The state government has also decided to train local Tharu tribe youths as guides. First batch of 20 such youths are being trained by Tourism Department. The state government will also assist locals to buy new tourist vehicles.

Deputy Chief Minister added, "We have a 12 bed room Valmiki Vihar hotel with and 4 guest houses and 8 tourist huts here. We are also renovating other guest houses in the area."



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