Shimla, July 17, 2015: With a view to promote tourism activities and provide ample self-employment opportunities to the youth, the State Government has taken a decision to develop 20 more eco-tourism sites in different parts of the State.
Forest Minister Shri Thakur Singh Bharmouri disclosed here today that the eco-tourism society had already invited expression of interest for developing these sites and after finalization of the sites, the matter would be taken with the Government of India for diversion of land. He said the interested parties had been asked to submit a report regarding conservation of environment and promotion of ecology, maintaining the natural grandeur, forest conservation, waste disposal and their participation in the eco tourism.
Shri Bharmouri said that the Congress Government had formulated the Eco-Tourism Policy- 2005 and going ahead with this policy the State Government had decided to develop more eco tourism sites. Keeping in view the forest conservation, the decision had been taken to conduct Socio-Environment Impact Study of those sites which were already in operation.
He said that the priority of the government was to provide employment to Himachali youth through these sites. Efforts were on to exploit the forest wealth of the State for promotion of tourism sector at a larger scale.
He added that since eco-tourism had been declared as non-forest activity by the Union Government, hence Forest Conservation Act, 1980 would be applicable on all eco tourism projects.
The Minister said that under the directions of Government of India, the Forest Department had been asked to submit detailed report about the five sites allocated earlier in the State.