Himachal Pradesh would be promoting the ecotourism in the state in a big way in association with the people participation and various departments to create eco-friendly infrastructure and cater to the requirements of the nature lovers at a cost of Rs. 8 crore in the first phase in the 143 forest rest houses to be renamed as Himachal Forest Lodges, proposed to be taken under the society for creation of quality infrastructure initially. This was stated by Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, while presiding over the First Meeting of the Governing Body of the Ecotourism Society and launching the website addressed as www.himachalecotourism.com, here today.
Singh said that catchment area treatment plan (CAT) would be utilized by the local eco-societies within the CAT plan area for boosting the ecotourism by repairing, maintaining the forest rest houses, inspection huts, maintenance of hikes, treks, trails etc. beside other related activity on the eco-circuit.
He further said that services of the ecotourism professionals would be requisitioned to operate the forest rest houses taken over by the society besides upgrading the skills of the serving forest employees and local people made partner in the promotional activities.
He said that eco-lodges and heritage buildings had been planned to be developed at Sonu Banglow near Tara Devi, Craig Naino and Shimla Catchment area would also be taken up for restoration. He added that the old Hindustan Tibet Road, the Penelope Chetwood trail, the Kasol-Kheer Ganga Trek, the Naina Devi hike and others would be restored and improved besides introducing camping, tentage, home-stays, treks, trails, hikes, medicinal plant hubs in every eco-circuit of the state forests.