Shimla: HP State Forest Corporation turned a corner after reporting a Ra 8.6 Crore profit and has got the board approval for expanding its eco-tourism business after having successfully demonstrated the potential by running the sites of Narkanda and Jalori Pass.
From selling time, resin and turpentine oil as well as running two eco-tourism sites, HPSC reported a turnover of Rs 140 crore in 2009-10 financial year and had a profit of Rs 8.6 Cr, said chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal after having presided over a board meeting.
Till November, the corporation had sold 70K cubic meters of timber, 48K quintals of resin and 12K tons of turpentine oil.
To keep the corporation viable, the board today gave its nod for diversify into eco-tourism activities , ventures after two pilots project had shown potential.
Speaking about the opportunities, Dhumal said there was a vast potential for expanding the activity as such spots were emerging a great favorite with nature lovers.
He mentioned that there were over 400 forest rest houses located in very scenic locations which could be used for attracting tourists.
Surplus staff of the corporation, after being trained in hospitality services, could be absorbed in eco-tourism venture, he said. The chief minister asked for making Shoja in Banjar Kullu, functional as an eco-tourism venture as necessary infrastructure had been completed.
Avay Shukla, additional chief secretary forests, who retires later in the week said that eco-tourism could be one activity which could add to the income generation activities of the forest corporation.