New Delhi: Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma on Wednesday said the central government will assist in the development of a tribal circuit in Chhattisgarh under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme to promote tourism.
Sharma gave the assurance at a meeting with Chhattisgarh’s Tourism and Culture Minister Dayal Das Baghel here, an official release said.
Baghel has asked Sharma to include an Eco Circuit connecting the Achanakmer Tiger Reserve, Kanger Valley National Park, Kodar Dam and Gangrel Dam among others, to which Sharma said the government would consider the proposal.
Besides, Baghel asked the minister to include the historical site of Sirpur in the Buddhist circuit.
Renowned conservation biologist Raghu Chundawat on Friday said tourists travelling in large numbers to the forests in India is a threat to the wildlife and ecosystem as most of the tourists are “not responsible”.
Speaking on the sidelines of “TOFTigers Sustaining the Wildlife”, Chundawat said: “Mass tourism generates huge amounts of money to governments, but at the same time it also has negative impacts and threat to the wildlife and ecosystem of the forests.”
“Now there is a rapid increase of wildlife-based mass tourism specially on the weekends… This ruins the habitat, as some visitors throw garbage which consist more of plastic.”
Chundawat’s pioneering 10-year research on the Panna tigers was immortalised by BBC in the documentary — “Tigers of the Emerald Forest”.
The conservation biologist said that loss of habitat is another issue that impacts tiger conservation. The big cat’s habitat is now limited to “seven per cent of its original range”, he said.
A report, titled “The Value of Wildlife Tourism around Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan for Wildlife Conservation and Local Communities”, centering India’s poor record with sustainable tourism practices in and around wildlife reserves, was also released on the occasion. (IANS)