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Maharashtra government promotes ‘nature tourism’

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Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday announced the setting up of Maharashtra Nature Tourism Development Corporation to attract tourists to various forests and natural reserves in the state.

The MNTDC will specifically promote tourism to 48 wildlife sanctuaries, six national parks and four reserved green areas across the state which abound in nature and wildlife.

The new body – to be structured on the lines of the existing Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, will be headquartered in the state’s second capital, Nagpur, Fadnavis added.

Presently, he said that an estimated one million tourists descend on various sanctuaries and national parks every year and this is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.

Accordingly, the MNTDC will ensure better facilities and amenities for the tourists, besides taking up conservation programs, ensuring the protection of local peoples and their social cultures without damaging the vast natural heritage the state is endowed with.

This in turn would boost employment prospects for the local population and help develop these regions to global standards, Fadnavis said.

Some of the major wildlife sanctuaries in the state include Chaprala Wildlife Sanctuary, Tadoba National Park, Chikhaldhara, Dajipur, Bharmragarh Wild Life Sanctuary, Navegaon National Park, Tipeshwer, Bor Wildlife Sanctuary while the Pench Jungle camp is a special accommodation facility available at the Pench National Park, on the Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh borders.

These sanctuaries abound with a vast variety of wild animals, reptiles, and birds, including tigers, leopards, nilgais, wild boars, chitals, bears, wolves, foxes, jackals jungle cats and dogs, flying squirrels, sloth bears, barking deers, hyenas, besides many species which are protected or on endangered lists.

Presently, many of these forest destinations offer facilities like jeep rides, night safaris, libraries with audio-visual facilities, comfortable accommodation, and efficient transportation at nominal rates.

(Inputs from IANS)

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Cory Booker: “Environmental Inequality One of Today’s Civil Rights Battles”

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has said unsafe drinking water is the world's most immediate public health issue

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environmental inequality
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker speaks during a campaign stop on at Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina, April 26, 2019. VOA

Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker says it’s time to overhaul environmental policies that he says unfairly disadvantage minority and impoverished communities.

The New Jersey senator is promoting what he calls his environmental justice agenda during a campaign stop in South Carolina. He told students at Allen University in Columbia that the government hasn’t done enough to ensure all Americans have equal access to clean, healthy communities.

environmental inequality
This photo released by the Brazilian Environmental and Renewable Natural Resources Institute (Ibama) shows an illegally deforested area on Pirititi indigenous lands as Ibama agents inspect Roraima state in Brazil’s Amazon basin. VOA

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Booker says addressing environmental inequality is one of today’s civil rights battles. Booker wants to strengthen Environmental Protection Agency and reverse what he says are Trump administration rollbacks of environmental safeguards. He’s proposing more EPA workers and resources to ensure safe drinking water.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has said unsafe drinking water is the world’s most immediate public health issue. (VOA)