Untapped Eco-Mine tourism has lots of potential

| Updated: May 20, 2017 23:46 IST

Nagpur (Maharashtra) [India] May 20 (ANI): The Eco-Mine tourism in India is less travelled terrain, but it has lots of potential. It is not only environment friendly but it also inadvertently ups the security standards in the coal mines. For the first time in India, Nagpur based Miniratna Western Coalfields Limited (WCL), a subsidiary of Coal India, introduced the Eco-Mine tourism in India. The joint initiative of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and the WCL has become popular among tourists, especially those looking for adventure. With the idea to connect fragments of open unused land into a comprehensive network of local ecology conservation and recreational and learning environment, the Western Coalfields Limited had introduced a novel initiative of an Eco-Park with the aim of dispelling notions of pollution and environmental degradation related to coal and mining operations in India. Currently, coal mine tourism is going on in two mines: open cast Gondegaon and underground Saoner, 30 km and 45 km away from Nagpur respectively. Under this 'Eco-Mine Tourism' programme, WCL gives people a chance to visit the deep and dank interiors of the earth to see how coal mining is actually done, understand sophisticated mining methods and machinery and to experience the conditions in which workers put in precious man hours. Tourists enter the mine on a unique man-rider system for the first 200 metres. The remaining 1-km trail is on foot. Showcasing of real mines to the public and such ecological endeavors are common in Australia, USA, Canada, Finland, Germany, Norway, Japan, Chile, Bolivia and several other countries. Also an Eco-Park has been created in between these two locations where tourists can be enjoy the nature and also learn about the mining environment before entering into the real mines. Spread in a 15 acre natural reserve site, Eco- Park is a first of its kind initiative in the country to spread understanding about the mining industry. It endeavors to balance ecology through afforestation and reuse of mine water. The park preserves most of the natural forest in its original shape and features other aspects of interest such as physics, natural resource conservation and amusement rides. The park and jungle like atmosphere along with the train ride makes the learning enjoyable and relaxing. Tourists get much fun in fun rides at Eco-Park, toy train, mist spray- artificial rain, ocean View- an artificial waves generated in a water pool, rope climber, under ground mine model with working mine equipment, Laxman Jhula- walking over a water-body on wooden planks hanging on ropes. This Eco-Mine tourism can be emulative by other coalfield areas of the country. One important benefit of the Eco-Mine operation is that once the tourists start flocking the coal mine areas then the security parameters and environment friendly measures in these areas are much better in comparison with the other coal mine areas. (ANI)

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