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HimVani

Shimla: World Wide Found (WWF) has expressed willingness to develop the natural glaciers-fed lake ‘Chandertal’ as an ecco-tourism site. This was stated by forest minister JP Nadda in reply to a supplementary query by Ram Lal Markandy (BJP-Lahaul Spiti) in the Vidhan Sabha today.

He said that despite being land-locked, the tribal district has immense potential for eco-tourism and the state government has received willingness of WWF to provide funds to develop Chandertal as an eco-tourism spot. He said that the forest department has also taken up work to promote eco-tourism by constituting eco-societies under forest divisions of the state.

Nadda said that government of India allocated about Rs 3 crore in 2008-09 and Rs 1.8 crore in 2009-10 to extend this facilities by renovating old rest houses owned by the forest department. The department is also setting up forest camp sites in the state to attract tourists.

He said work on six new forest sites and circuits is in progress at Kasisadar-Manali-Koti-Nagar in Kullu district, Siraj Eco circuit in Parvati and Siraj in Chamba district, Mandali-Sandush, Khashdhar, Lorat-Dodrakawar in Rohru, Sarahan-Panu in Ani, Saltu Purbi in Kinnuar and Bilaspur eco circuit. The minister said that under the PPP mode the forest department has invited proposals from firms to promote nine eco-sites and rest houses.

He said that Kangra forest rest house, Ala forest rest house, Dhunadevi forest rest house, Dalhouise camping cite, Maclodganj camping site, Barog camping site, Shogi camping site, Sanu Bangla camping site, Chewa site and Motikuna hill top were being develop under the eco-tourism project. He said that in year 2009-10 five more forest rest houses at Kharapathar, Habban, Triud, Shoja-Mahsu and Sorav Vihar and Kufri were developed.

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