In a major decision, the state cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal to form the Uttar Pradesh Eco-Tourism Development Board for development and management of tourism infrastructure facilities in the permitted area outside the protected forest areas of the state. The board, which will be headquartered in Lucknow, will have Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as its chairman.

The members of the ecotourism development board will be of two types: government members (ex-officio) and members with special duties. Agriculture Minister, Forest Minister, AYUSH Minister, Finance Minister, Tourism Minister, Irrigation Minister, Rural Development Minister, Uttar Pradesh Forest Corporation Chairman, Chief Secretary, Principal Chief Conservator and Head of Department will be members of the board and the Chief Secretary/Additional Director The secretary/secretary will be the secretary member of the tourism board. Additional Chief Secretary or Principal Secretary for Environment, Forests and Climate Change would act under the coordinator.

Representatives of IRCTC, Sashastra Seema Bal Uttar Pradesh, World Wildlife Fund India, Bombay Natural History Society, Turtle Conservation Fund, Katarniaghat Foundation, five nominated environment and tourism experts, will be part of the board as special guests. Also, two other reputable institutions working in the field of environment as special guests will be selected every two years.

The eco-tourism executive committee will be headed by the Chief Secretary and Member Secretary (ex-officio), Additional Chief Secretary/Principal Secretary/Secretary, Tourism (for protected wildlife areas and forest areas) and Member Secretary Director General of Tourism (for various tourists the remaining countries/areas of the state outside the forest area).

The Executive Committee will be responsible for the necessary actions to fulfill the objectives of the Eco-Tourism Development Board.

The Eco-Tourism Development Board will facilitate activities such as trekking, walking, cycling, caravan tourism, seaplane and river cruises, adventure tourism, along with undertaking the development of hotels, resorts and infrastructure facilities, balloons , jungle camping and also wellness tourism. such as Ayurveda, Yoga, naturopathy for the development of the ecotourism sector.

Uttar Pradesh has a forest area of ​​about 16,582 sq km. The state has a national park, 26 wildlife sanctuaries, of which 12 are bird sanctuaries.

Besides, the state has nine eco-tourism circuits including Western Wildlife Circuit, Brijbhoomi Wildlife/Wetland Circuit, Eastern Wildlife Circuit, Tiger Circuit, Bundelkhand Circuit, Vindhya Forest Circuit, Ganga Basin/Earth GangaCentrology. / Circuit Wetland etc.

Then there is Salkhan Fossil Park in Sonbhadra, Mukkha Falls in Sonbhadra, Rajdari and Devdari Falls in Chandauli, Jarga Dam Chunar and Surhatal in Ballia etc. The state also has 10 Ramsar sites (Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary, Haiderpurwactuard Wetland, , Parvati Agra Bird Sanctuary, Saman Bird Sanctuary, Samaspur Bird Sanctuary, Sandi Bird Sanctuary, Sarsai Upper Ganga River), all of which would be promoted for Eco-Tourism through this the board.

Uttar Pradesh Tourism Minister Jaiveer Singh said, “Considering the immense potential of eco-tourism in Uttar Pradesh, the Uttar Pradesh Eco-tourism Development Board is being formed in coordination with 10 departments including tourism, forest environment and climate change, AYUSH department. , rural development, irrigation, urban development, agriculture, horticulture, sports, transport with the aim of making Uttar Pradesh as the premier destination for Indian and foreign tourists.”

An official spokesperson of the government informed that the idea is to lead to the economic upliftment of businessmen and service providers related to the tourism industry of Uttar Pradesh, as besides protecting environmentally sensitive areas, employment and income will increase.

Moreover, in order to preserve, promote and develop ecological areas, local residents will be associated with this project in the role of guides aiming to create new opportunities for employment generation and income growth.

While infrastructure development would also be explored through Public-Private Partnership (PPP), eco-tourism areas, the proposed board would undertake training and booking of guides with the help of the forest department for jungle safaris.

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