Eco-tourism Projects to Come Up at Agumbe

Deccan Herald

A few eco-tourism projects will materialise at Agumbe soon. The projects to be implemented by Western Ghat Task Force will be taken up at a cost of Rs 10 lakh and will be implemented through the Gram Aranya Samitis.

Addressing the reporters on Tuesday in Hebri, Task Force Chairman Anantha Hegde Ashisara said that Government is laying lot of emphasis on forests and conservation of bio- diversity and Government's first move towards the same was the setting up of Western Ghats Task Force.

'More and more people will be taken into confidence and will be made to participate in the forest conservation and management programmes,' he said and added that the Grama Aranya Samitis in the State have not only been given financial aid but have also been supplied with solar lights etc.

Stressing on the Task Force's commitment to protect reserve forests, he said that no hydro power projects will be allowed to scar the Western Ghats. He said that since last four years license has not been issued to any of the hydro electric power projects in the area.

"It is not just the ghats, but we have also ventured into protecting the coastline by introducing 'Hasiru Kavacha Yojane' in the entire 300 mts coastal belt in the State. Laying of green belt along the coastline and conservation of bio-diversity in this region is the main aim," he said and added that the project has been initiated in the 40 kms stretch of 320 kms length coastal belt to avoid sea erosion.

A sum of Rs 12 crores is released for the purpose in the initial phase and additional Rs eight crores will be allotted shortly.

Additional measures are taken to grow mangroves in these areas.

Ashisara said that herbs which are on the verge of extinction will be selected and these plants species will be grown in nursery in the coastal region to protect the species.

"A tree named 'Rampatra' is on the verge of extinction. Hence the trees have been identified and plans have been chalked out for protecting them. We are planning to get the help of scientists in our quest for protecting forests and environment. Several researches are going on at various places in this regard," he said.

Earlier inaugurating the Kundapur division level Village Forest committees' conference jointly organised by Western Ghat Task Force and Kundapur Forest Division, Ashisara said there are as many as 57 Village Forest Committees in Karnataka and Rs 10 crores are released for the functioning of these Committees.

Udupi district has received Rs 50 lakhs under this programme through Task Force. Green Health programme will be introduced in as many as four to five districts shortly in the state.

Ayurvedic physicians are appointed to identify the herbal plants and also initiate measures for usage and applications of these ayurvedic herbal plants, he said.