Plan for eco city near tiger reserve

The state environment and forest department is mulling to develop an eco city at Valmikinagar, located around 290km northwest of Patna in West Champaran district.

By Sanjeev Kumar Verma in Patna
  • Published 24.06.18
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The Valmiki Tiger Reserve

Patna: The state environment and forest department is mulling to develop an eco city at Valmikinagar, located around 290km northwest of Patna in West Champaran district.

The place is located near the Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR), the only such reserve of Bihar which is home to around 30 big cats at present. This idea is being discussed after the water resources department has consented to hand over about 200 acres of land to the forest department.

Water resources minister Rajiv Ranjan, alias Lalan Singh, visited Valmikinagar along with his officials recenrtly and held a meeting with forest department officials in which the issue related to inter-department transfer of land was discussed.

The water resources department has around 247 acres of land at Valmikinagar out of which it wants to keep around 40 acres for developing its facilities and hand over the remaining land to the forest department.

The process of land transfer is likely to be completed soon as chief minister Nitish Kumar during his recent visit to the tiger reserve in May this year had suggested that the place should be developed as a hub for eco-tourism.

A source in the forest department told The Telegraph that a joint team of both the departments would first draw a map of the water resource department land and then the pieces of land which would be handed over to the forest department would be identified.

"Around 40 acres of land would remain with the water resources department which it would use for developing its facilities," added the source.

About the eco city project, the official said the idea is to develop environment-friendly facilities for the tourists who would come to visit the VTR and have all kinds of facilities which would help in attracting them in large numbers.

The eco city would be based on solar power and also no vehicles would be allowed inside it. Only battery-operated vehicles and bicycles would be used within the limits of the city whereas those coming to the place would be provided parking facility for keeping their vehicles outside the city.

The local population would be linked with this facility for providing different kinds of services to the visitors and special training would be provided to them.

The forest department source said a concrete proposal would soon be prepared by the department and put forward for approval of the government after which actual work on the eco-city project would start.

The proposal assumes significance as the forest department has already taken many steps for developing eco-tourism in the tiger reserve and development of a eco city in its vicinity for the tourists would work as an added attraction for the visitors.