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State proposes GFDC as vehicle to promote eco-tourism

22 Oct 2015 05:55am IST

Report by
Team Herald

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22 Oct 2015 05:55am IST

Report by
Team Herald

Measures to make corporation self-sufficient includes botanical gardens, bamboo plantations; Corporation to submit detailed project report on proposals

PANJIM: The State government has mooted plans to promote eco-tourism in forested areas through Goa Forest Development Corporation (GFDC). The move aims at making the corporation self-sustainable and not fully dependent on government funding.

During a special meeting held with GFDC, Forest Minister Rajendra Arlekar has proposed a series of measures for the corporation to become self-sufficient. This includes eco-tourism in forested areas, botanical gardens and bamboo plantations. The corporation has been directed to submit a detailed project report on the proposal in the next fifteen days.

Speaking to Herald, Arlekar said that the continuing boom in eco-tourism has the potential to save endangered forests or destroy them, depending on how effectively tourism expansion is managed. “Our aim is to save the endangered forests along with generating revenue,” he said.

The minister said that the eco-tourism project would be done through GFDC and not through any private players. “The proposal would be implemented taking into account all rules and regulations stipulated by the Union Ministry for Environment and Forests for eco-tourism in such areas,” he explained.

“This will also help in employment generation for the locals,” Arlekar said. As per proposal, indigenous, locally produced and ecologically sustainable materials would be used for eco- tourism activities.

Also, the corporation has to consider promoting spice plantations cum farms across the State, on lines with several private farms that have come up in recent times.

Arlekar also pointed out that the State has a great potential to develop botanical gardens, for which, if required, expert opinion can be taken for its promotion at the national level. GFDC has also been directed to identify areas for carrying out bamboo plantations.

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