A sapling being planted on SNTI premises in Bistupur to mark Van Mahotsav on Tuesday. (Bhola Prasad)
Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, about 20km from the steel city, may fast climb popularity charts on a ropeway.
For, the forest department has once again kindled hopes of installing a ropeway at the sanctuary famed for its elephants.
K.K. Chatterjee, regional conservator of forests, on Tuesday said the state forest department had sent a proposal to the Centre and was waiting for its green signal.
Speaking on the sidelines of a Van Mahotsav ceremony organised jointly by the forest department and environment management department of Tata Steel, Chatterjee said: ďWe have proposed a ropeway project in Dalma so that it can attract more tourists. Dalma is a tourist hub now and the number of visitors is soaring every year. The main aim of the forest department is to promote eco-tourism and Dalma is the most suitable place in the state for that.Ē
The regional conservator of forests added that the project, if executed, would not only attract tourists but increase revenues for the state.
Chatterjee told the audience that the Union forest and environment ministry had refused permission for it in 2009, citing environmental concerns.
The Union ministry at that time felt that the project would disturb the ecology of Dalma wildlife sanctuary, the cradle of Project Elephant.
The proposed project was supposed to cover a distance of three kilometres, connecting Dalma hills to a point near the Kali temple at Pardih on National Highway 33.
A ropeway tour would have enabled tourists get a glimpse of the panoramic Chandil dam nearby, the steel city and wildlife in Dalma, especially elephants on the move.
Chatterjee and Tata Steel vice-president (human resources) Suresh Tripathi also raised awareness on environment conservation, stressing on plantation drives. They asked the 150-strong audience to spread greenery in and around the steel city.
Besides Chatterjee and Tripathi, other foresters and corporate executives were also present on the occasion.
Chatterjee said that the forest department was working hard to preserve the environment through various projects, big and small.
ďThe department has started two watershed projects in East Singhbhum at Baharagora and Potka blocks,Ē Chatterjee said.