Dehradun: Forest Officers will have to get out of the regulatory mindset and play their part in the development of the state without harming the environment and forests: Chief Secretary

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Dehradun: (Manoj Rautela) Chief Secretary Dr. S.S. Sandhu held a meeting with District Magistrates and DFOs of Nainital, Pauri, Almora, Tehri and Chamoli districts on Tuesday at the secretariat to promote eco-tourism in the state. The Chief Secretary said that as most of the state is forest area, there is immense potential for eco-tourism here. There are possibilities of maximum employment generation in eco-tourism.

The Chief Secretary said that the Forest Department will have to play an important role for this. He said that the forest officers would have to get out of the regulatory mindset and play their part in the development of the state without harming the environment and forests. Said that all the districts have to work in this direction, the districts which do good work will be rewarded. The Chief Secretary said that professional guides should be trained well by providing training. He said that to develop eco-tourism sites, maximum use of natural materials should be avoided and concrete structures should be avoided. He instructed eco-tourism sites to keep pamphlets etc. in all hotels and resorts for information so that tourists can get information about such places located near them, tourists can also find new places along with old tourist places nearby in Google Map. .

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The Chief Secretary instructed the Chief Conservator of Forests to provide information about acceptable and unacceptable activities in the forest area to all DFOs. He also directed to develop a system for taking feedback from tourists in all types of tourist places. Said that after taking information and suggestions from the tourists about the shortcomings, there is a need to work towards removing them. He said that there are possibilities of rock climbing in 80-90 percent sites of the state, while developing them, experts must also be appointed at all such sites. Involving the local people in all the activities, work should be done to make the scheme successful by taking suggestions from the people engaged in that work. During the meeting today, through video conferencing with the districts Nainital, Pauri, Almora, Tehri and Chamoli, a presentation was given on the proposed activities for the sites identified by the DFOs of the said districts. On this occasion, Principal Secretary R. Of. District Magistrates and DFOs were present from the districts including Sudhanshu and Chief Conservator of Forests (Half) Vinod Singhal.

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