Camping sites, safaris at Goa’s sanctuaries soon



A plan to improve habitats in Goa's sanctuaries and protected forests is in the making and Forest Minister Vishwajit Rane will lead a delegation comprising of Forest officials to Delhi on Monday next to seek assistance from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.

The plan will include long-term and short-term measures including some ideas to develop eco-tourism activities, Rane told the media.

Camping sites in wildlife sanctuaries with amenities, measures to improve the wildlife habitats leading to conditions which will help develop wildlife safaris, eco tracks are being envisaged, he said.

A plan to develop the zoo at Bondla with participation of private players is also being prepared.

Rane said, two major camping sites are being planned at Surla in Sattari and at Cotigao in Canacona.

He also said that all the turtle nesting sites currently being overseen by the forest department, particularly at Morjim in North Goa and Galgibag in Canacona, will also be developed so as to attract the youth from Goa as well as tourists.

The plan will also include developing Chorao which hosts the famed Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, he said, adding that 'Eco Tracks' will be developed in all the Sanctuaries.

All the plans will take into account involvement of local communities, he said, adding that he will lead a delegation to meet the Union Environment and Forest Minister Bhupendra Yadav to explore and seek financial support for the plan from the Centre.

Rane said, the former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests of Karnataka, Vinay Luthra will advise the Forest officials in drawing up the plan.

Meanwhile, Rane's wife Deviya Rane who heads the Goa Forest Development Corporation has hinted at developing Surla in Sattari which adjoins the Chorla ghat and borders Karnataka could be developed as a hill station.

Ms Rane said several sites in Sattari which have natural waterfalls where picnickers throng particularly in the monsoon months will also be supervised as these areas are left strewn with garbage.

She also underscored the need to involve the local community in activities which could provide them livelihoods at these sites.

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