While the famed Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand earns an estimated Rs 350 crore annually through promotion of Ecotourism which attracts a large number of tourists to the area, officials of Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar's West Champaran district have now sent proposals to the Bihar government for undertaking works which would help in promoting Ecotourism in the reserve.
Among the proposals include improving the condition of forest roads falling under Division-II of the Tiger Reserve. According to a report in Times of India, J P Gupta, Director, Valmiki Tiger Reserve said, “We have sent Rs 30 lakh proposal to the state government for undertaking this work. A similar proposal to improve the condition of roads in Division-I of the reserve will also be sent to the Bihar government soon.”
Pointing out that good roads are a must in order to attract tourists to the tiger reserve, Gupta mentioned that the present condition of forest roads in the reserve has proved to be major deterrent for attracting tourists. Even those who visit the reserve don't get the opportunity to move around in the forest area and enjoy nature's endowment. Gupta also intends to submit a proposal for enhancing the accommodation capacity of the reserve's rest house which presently has capacity to accommodate only four persons at a time. “This is a step we will like to take once the tourist inflow increases,” added Gupta.
Meanwhile, as a move to reach out to a maximum number of people giving authentic information about the reserve, the Valmiki Tiger Reserve authorities have decided to launch a website of the reserve. A part of Rs 1.08 crore fund received from Centre under the Annual Plan of Operation head will be used for the purpose. “As soon as the state government releases the fund, the work for creating the website will commence,” added Gupta. He said tourism promotion will help in involving locals in forest protection work which will, in turn, make them aware of the natural resources of the area, as well as about the prospect of income generation. “Once that happens they will come forward on their own to protect the natural resources of the area and keep a check on elements who try to use its resources for personal gains,” said Gupta.