Bihar CM lists steps to increase footfall at VTR

Special cabinet meeting to be held at Valmikinagar, new bus service to roll

By Dev Raj in Patna
  • Published 19.11.18, 4:13 PM
  • Updated 19.11.18, 4:13 PM
  • a min read
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Chief minister Nitish Kumar at Valmikinagar Tiger Reserve on Sunday.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday took a stroll around the scenic Valmikinagar along the Bihar-Nepal border in West Champaran and declared that the state will extend eco-tourism facilities to attract more tourists to the green idyll of Bihar’s only tiger reserve.

He announced that a special cabinet meeting will be held there to make people aware about the place and that a bus service from Patna to Valmikinagar will be started after the road between Bagaha and Valmikinagar is complete.

“I have been told by my officials that 45,000 tourists have visited Valmikinagar this year. I hope extension of eco-tourism facilities will attract more than 1 lakh people to this place,” Nitish said.

“We will organise a cabinet meeting here. Its date will be fixed later. We want the people of Bihar to know about and visit Valmikinagar to enjoy the surroundings,” Nitish added.

The area already has tourist cottages for which online booking is done. The chief minister had reached Valmikinagar on Saturday evening and stayed overnight to visit various sections of Valmikinagar and Valmikinagar Tiger Reserve (VTR) on Sunday.

He went to the Gandak river bank to see the work going on to contain erosion, the road being constructed by the water resources department along the river up to the Valmikinagar barrage to ensure easy movement of tourists. Nitish also visited temples in the area and the elephant centre at Kauleshwar, where he offered bananas to pachyderms and enjoyed his time with them.

Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Lok Sabha member Satish Chandra Dubey, water resources minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh, CM’s adviser Anjani Kumar Singh, additional chief secretary Tripurari Sharan, CM’s principal secretary Chanchal Kumar, principal chief conservator of forests D.K. Shukla and several others accompanied him. Nitish also witnessed the transfer of 200 acres of land of the water resources department to the environment, forest and climate change department to promote eco-tourism. Since it’s a forest area, eco-tourism there will be under the environment, forest and climate change department.

“There is a need to construct a convention centre, accommodation for tourists and other facilities. There were just eight tigers here at VTR when our government had taken charge in the state. Today their number has gone up to 35 and it may rise further. On the other hand the number of tigers in Nepal is decreasing,” he said.