Reported by Chinmaya Dehury/Edited by Sandeep Sahu
BHUBANESWAR, July 26
The Odisha government has decided to develop Chandka wildlife sanctuary as an ecotourism centre. in a big way by involving the residents of fringe villages and thereby reducing their dependency on the forest.
Culture and Tourism Minister Maheswar Mohanty and Environment and Forest Minister Bijayshree Routray today discussed with officials ways to develop Chandaka in a big way with the cooperation of the residents of the area so as to reduce their dependence on the forest.
According to sources, the officials of the two departments will visit the area soon and assess steps necessary to develop the sanctuary as an ecotourism hub.
“The sanctuary should not be known only for its elephants and forests. People should also enjoy its beauty, which is yet to be made presentable,” said the Forest Minister.
The 194 sq km sanctuary near the capital city represents the north-eastern limits of the Eastern Ghats, which once formed part of the Central Indian Elephant range. It possesses rich flora and fauna that has a potential to attract eco tourists in droves.
The sanctuary division has already renovated the watchtowers, rest houses and bamboo huts with provision of solar lights for the benefit of tourists who are willing to spend a night inside the sanctuary.
The animals spotted inside the sanctuary include elephants, spotted deer, wild dog, bear, hyena, sloth bear, pangolin, barking deer and common langoor.
Moreover, there are nine reservoirs that attract migratory birds and present a spectacular sight. Some 30, 000 birds belonging to 82 species visit the place annually.