Bhubaneswar, 27th Jan
In another boost for eco-tourism, Govt have decided to put in place a centralized online system for
advance booking of accommodations at eco-tourist spots. This has been decided in a high level meeting held
under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Sri Aditya Parsad Padhi in Secretariat conference hall today wherein
Principal Secretary Forest & Environment Sri Suresh Chandra Mohapatra outlined the issues for discussion.
Reviewing the progress made in this sector, Chief Secretary directed the Forest & Environment Department to
develop suitable facilities in the existing eco-tourist spots before taking up new spots for development. Sri Padhi
has focused on development of basic amenities and apposite waste disposal system at the spots. It has been
decided that a centralized online system for booking of accommodation at eco-tourist places will be developed
and put in place within 2 months. Chief Secretary has also directed to ensure active involvement of local
committees in preservation and promotional activities so that people get alternative means of livelihood from the
tourism activities. It has been decided to develop these identified tourist spots with State Govt funding.
Replying to a media quarry after the meeting, Principal Secretary Sri Mohapatra said that as of now 20
eco-tourism sites have been taken up and 40 new destinations have been identified for development. Target has
been set to develop all these spots within a period of 5 years with investment of around Rs.100 cr. from State
Govt funding. The accommodation facilities for 15 to 20 families will be developed in each major spot.
Available data shows, there has been constant increase in tourist footfall in eco-tourist spots over last
three years. In the year the total footfall in eco-tourist spots was 2,76,206 which increased to 3,12,980 in the year
2014-15 and further to 3,47,965 in the year 2014-15. This year there is an increasing trend in the rate of footfall
and is expected to cross the last year.
The existing sites already taken up for development include Dangmal, Habalikhati, Gupti, Barunei &
Kalibhanjdia of Rajnagar Wild Life ( WL) division; Bramhapura, Rajhans, Balugaon & Mangalajodi of Chilika
WL division; Barehipani, Joranda, Sitakund, Lulung etc of Similipal Tiger Reserve, Tikarpada, Binikei and
adjacent spots in Satkosia WL, Barakhandia of Hirakud WL; Kuldiha & Bichitrapur of Balasore WL; Maraguda
of Sunabedha WL; Deras, Godibari & Jhumuka of Chandaka WL; Balichandi, Ramchandi, Nuanai etc of Puri
WL; Badmul of Mahanadi WL; Gadchandi & Zero point in Hadgarh Wild Life ( WL) sanctuary, Mahavinayak,
Olasuni & Dhaltangarh of Cuttack forest division, Manchabandha , Devkundu, Samibrikhya & Machkandana of
Baripada division, Jamunai of Rairangpur division within Similipal Tiger Reserve, Saptasjya of Dhenkanal and
Gandahati & Khasada water fall in Lakhary Valley sanctuary of Paralakhemundi forest division. Apart from
these, new 40 spots have been identified in these forest and wild life divisions.
The Principal Secretary Tourism Sri Gagan Kumar Dhala, Prncipal Chief Conservator of Forests Sri J.D.
Sharma along with senior officers from OSDF, Tourism and Forest & Environment Develoment department
participated in deliberations.