Rajnagar: The Odisha government has sanctioned `59 crore to promote the Bhitarkanika National Park (BNP) as an attractive tourist destination to the world. The amount will be spent on developing the infrastructure and promoting its eco-tourism prospects. Efforts will also be made to project the park as a nature and an environment tourist spot. A master plan is being prepared to make Bhitarkanika one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Odisha.
It should be stated here that the government had sanctioned the amount during the 2021-22 fiscal. However, work has started now only to utilise the amount. No one, however, could say anything about the delay in spending the funds.
As part of the infrastructure development plan, `30 lakh has been sanctioned for construction of a dry dock facility at Gupti, `3.15 crore for the setting up of a plaza and parking slots at the entry point of Dangamal crocodile sanctuary, `9.23 crore for construction of a jetty at Gupti, `14.38 crore for development of an interpretation centre at Dangamal, `7.47 crore for building a jetty at Dangamal, `7.79 crore for setting up of a craft bazaar and food court at Dangamal, `6.87 crore and `6.66 crore respectively for building jetties at Chandbali and Khola.
The plans of the government for developing BNP came to the fore after a team of district officials and public representatives led by ADM Pitambar Samal paid a visit recently to Gupti, Khola and Dangamal and identified sites for establishment of the facilities. Sub-collector Niranjan Behera, tehsildar Aswini Kumar Bhuyan, ACF Poonam Heera Hansda, Kanika forest range officer Manas Kumar Das, assistant executive engineer Natabar Pradhan of Works and House Building department and local public figures were part of the team.
It should be stated here that the district administration organised the ‘Bhitarkanika Mahotsav-2023’ at Nalitapatia adjoining the park for three days from March 10 to March 12. Tourism Minister Aswini Kumar Patra was present on the inaugural day of the programme as chief guest.
During his speech, Patra had said that the Odisha government is making an all-out effort to present the bio-diversity, wetland, mangrove forests, colourful birds, albino crocodiles, Olive Ridley turtles, dolphins and other varieties of reptiles found at BNP among the world community.
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