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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF TOURISM
LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 3205
ANSWERED ON:  15.03.2021
Promotion of Eco-Tourism in Odisha
Achyutananda Samanta
Will the Minister of



TOURISM be pleased to state:-


(a) whether the Government has identified specific locations in Odisha for the purpose of promoting eco-tourism, if so, the details thereof; and
(b) whether the Government has taken steps to develop and promote eco-tourism in Odisha; and
(c) if so, the details thereof?


ANSWER
MINISTER OF STATE FOR TOURISM (INDEPENDENT CHARGE)
(SHRI PRAHLAD SINGH PATEL)

(a): Eco-tourism has been identified as one of the Niche Tourism areas for development in the country, including Odisha, by the Ministry of Tourism.

The Ministry of Tourism has launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme for the development of tourism related infrastructure and facilities in the country. Recognizing the potential for the development of Eco tourism in the country, the Ministry of Tourism has identified “Eco Circuit” as one of the 15 thematic circuits under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme.

The projects under the Swadesh Darshan scheme are identified for development in consultation with the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations and are sanctioned subject to availability of funds, submission of suitable detailed project reports, adherence to scheme guidelines and utilization of funds released earlier. Submission of project proposals by the State Governments and its sanctioning is a continuous process.

No proposal has so far been received by the Ministry of Tourism from State Government of Odisha for development under Eco Tourism.

The details of projects sanctioned under the Eco Circuit theme of Swadesh Darshan scheme in the country are given below:-
<pre>
State/Year of Sanction Details Amount Sanctioned
(in Rs. Crores)
Uttarakhand
(2015-16) Development of Circuit at Tehri-Chamba- Sarain around Tehri Lake. 69.17

Telangana
(2015-16) Development of Circuit in Mahaboobnagar districts (Somasila, Singotam, Kadalaivanam, Akkamahadevi, Egalanpanta, Farahabad, Uma Maheshwaram, Mallelatheertham) 91.62
Kerala
(2015-16) Development of Pathanamthitta- Gavi- Vagamon- Thekkady 76.55
Mizoram
(2016-17) Development of Eco-Adventure Circuit at Aizawl -Rawpuichhip - Khawhphawp - Lengpui – Durtlang -Chatlang- Sakawrhmuituaitlang - Muthee – Beratlawng -Tuirial Airfield – Hmuifang 99.07
Madhya Pradesh
(2017-18) Development of Gandhisagar Dam- Mandleshwar Dam- Omkareshwar Dam- Indira Sagar Dam- Tawa Dam- Bargi Dam- BhedaGhat- Bansagar Dam- Ken River. 94.61
Jharkhand
(2018-19) Development of Dalma- Chandil- Getalsud- BetlaNational park- Mirchaiya–Netarhat. 52.72
</pre>
(b) & (c): Ministry of Tourism has taken several steps to develop and promote eco-tourism in the country, including Odisha, which inter alia include the following:

(i) Evolved & adopted Comprehensive Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India (STCI) for major segments of the tourism industry, namely accommodation, tour operators, Beaches, Backwaters, Lakes & Rivers sectors, applicable for the entire country.
(ii) Guidelines for approval of Hotel Projects at the implementation stage and also for Classification/ Reclassification of operational hotels under various categories mandate incorporation of various eco-friendly measures like installation of Sewage Treatment Plant, Rain water Harvesting, Waste Management System, Pollution Control and Introduction of non Chlorofluorocarbon equipment for refrigeration and air conditioners, energy and water conservation measures.
(iii) Promoting Eco-Tourism inter-alia through domestic and international campaigns and also by supporting seminars, conference and events focusing on development of Eco-Tourism in the country, from time to time.

Apart from the above, Government of Odisha has also taken a number of steps for development and promotion of eco-tourism in the State. In this connection a MoU has been signed between State Forest & Environment Department and State Tourism Department in the year 2017 under which State Forest and Environment Department has been developing, operating and managing accommodation units in forest areas and taking care of infrastructure development therein. State Tourism Department has been promoting and marketing these eco-tourism hot spots to attract high-end tourists to these locations through production and broadcast of TV commercials, advertisements in the print media, website, social media platforms, road shows, outdoor branding and investors meet. Special Initiatives like organization of Wildlife Trail in association with Times Passion Trail, Chilika Bird Festival at Mangalajodi, etc. have also been undertaken. Besides, quite a good number of persons have been trained as Eco-Guides and issued guide license for the same. Community members managing the eco-camps have been provided special orientation training. State Tourism Department has also sanctioned funds for development of eco-tourism sites such as Debjharan Waterfall and for procurement of Floating Jetty and Fiber Boats for eco-tourism sites such as Debrigarh, Bhitarakanika Nature Camps, Satkosia, Deras, etc.

During the year 2016, State Forest & Environment Department, prioritizing the need of getting support of forest dependent communities for forest & wildlife conservation, initiated "Community Managed Nature Tourism" in Odisha. A five year scheme (2016-17 to 2020-21) was approved by State Government for development of Eco-tourism with budgetary allocation of Rs. 56 Crores. Forest dependent communities were made stakeholders in ecotourism projects and major share of revenue generated from the Eco-tourism projects is given to them as their wages, for recurring expenses of the Nature Camps, infrastructure development, developmental works in villages etc. Booking for all the Eco-tourism destinations is through a portal www.ecotourodisha.com. Tourists from all over the world can book their stay in any Eco-tourism destination of Odisha. Activities likes Jungle Safari, Cycling, Trekking, Sports, Cultural Programmes, Library, Souvenir Shop, Birding, Boating, Firm visit, Wildlife Watch etc. are also functioning in different Eco-tourism destinations according to suitability of the landscape.

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