Odisha to start boating facilities in 100 waterbodies by Dec.

Union govt. also identifies four protected areas to encourage ecotourism

In a bid to encourage ecotourism, the Odisha government has set out to identify 100 vast waterbodies where boating facilities can be started for tourists by December.

At a high-level meeting, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra directed the Forest and Environment, the Water Resources and the Tourism Departments to jointly identify around 100 spots to start boating facilities.

The Departments have been asked to come up with the list in a month and take steps to set up the jetties so that activities can start by December this year, Mr. Mahapatra said in a statement.

“Proper identification of the location and their promotion will attract private investment, which will take the State’s ecotourism to next level,” he said.

As per the plan, women self-help groups, Van Surakshya Samities and local communities would be provided with adequate training so that they can manage the facilities.

Odisha has around 118 dams, including major dams such as Hirakud, Patora, Deras, Hadagarh, Pitamahal, Jhumuka, Indrawati, Kolab, Kunaria, Sarafgarh, Godhahada, Kanjhari and Sarbgarh, where boating facilities could be provided for tourists. Certain lakes such as Chilika and Ansupa also add value to ecotourism.

Meanwhile, the Union government has identified four protected areas for encouraging ecotourism — Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, Chilika (Nalaban) Wildlife Sanctuary, Gahirmatha (Marine) Wildlife Sanctuary and Nandankanan Wildlife Sanctuary.

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