While presiding over the Review Meeting of Eco-tourism here today, Forest Minister Govind Singh Thakur said that effective implementation of Eco-tourism Project should be ensured so that Himachal could become a leading state in this area. He said that the State has a potential to become a premier eco-destination, so concerted efforts are required to be taken in this direction.Shri Thakur said that possibilities of public, private participation (PPP) for the development of Eco-tourism in the State at large scale would also be explored which will prove a mile stone in this sector. He said that under the Eco-tourism activities, thrust should be given to involve panchayats to encourage them to become stakeholders and circle, division level societies should also be formed and evolved for the effective implementation of this project.Forest minister has directed the concerned officers that Eco-tourism designs with completed case could be prepared within a stipulated period of time so that it could be discussed with the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India in order to proceed further in the matter.
He also directed to complete tender documents so that tender process could be started to award eco-sites in the 10 identified territorial sites to stakeholders or others. He also directed the Conservator of Forests Mandi and DFO Kullu to start the Eco-tourism activities immediately as desired by the Chief Minister.The measures to prevent forests from fire were also discussed in the meeting. In this regard, Minister has directed officers that a concerted plan may be prepared so that forest wealth of the State could be saved from fire. He also exhorted the officers that all out measures could be taken to protect the forests from fire incidents.Additional Chief Secretary Forests, Tarun Kapoor, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (HOFF) Dr. G.S. Goraya, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Wild life Dr. Ramesh Kang, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Finance Ajay Kumar, CEO-cum-CCF Eco-tourism, Dr. Sanjay Sood, CF Mandi, Upasna Patial, DCF from Ministry of Environment & Forests GOI Sandeep Sharma, DFO Kullu and Shimla, Dr. Neeraj Chadda and Anish Sharma, Kapil from Infrastructure Board and Satpal Dhiman were also present in the meeting among others.