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Odisha to promote boating, targets to start activities in 100 spots by December

ANI | Updated: Jul 10, 2021 03:34 IST

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], July 10 (ANI): With the eco-tourism of Odisha emerging as a best practice, the government has brought to focus the boating facilities in different water tracks of the state as a fillip to the sector in post-covid days.
Considering the boating and water sports potential of the State, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra directed the departments of Forest and Environment, Water Resources, and Tourism to identify around 100 spots through joint verification for starting the boating facilities, a press release stated.
In a high-level meeting held under the Chairmanship of Mahapatra, the departments were asked to finalize the list in a month, Mahapatra was also directed to set the floating jetties and boats in quick sessions, and, the activities should start by December of the current year.
Further, Chief Secretary stated that the locations should be identified on the basis of the objective criteria of their competitiveness for being popularized in the tourism market, and, offering exotic experiences to the tourists.
Mahapatra said, "Proper choice of the location and their popularization will attract private investment to the sector soon, and, that will take State's eco-tourism to next higher level".
Chief Secretary also directed to put in place proper safety measures in boats and boating spots. He directed to adopt a community management model with appropriate training and orientation to the local community, VSS, and WSHG groups for the operation and management of the facilities.
Available data show Odisha has around 118 small and big dams including the major dams like Hirakud, Mandira, Patora, Deras, Hadgarh, Pitamahal, Jumuka, Indrabati, Kolab, Kunaria, Sarafgarh, Godhahada, Kanjhari, and Sarbgarh. Similarly, the State is bestowed with natural lakes like Chilika, Ansupa, Pata, Kanjia, Hiarkud. There are around ten major river basins namely Mahanadi, Bramhani, Baitarani, Rusikulya, Bansadhara, Nagabali, Kolab, Indravati, Subranarekha and Budhabalanga. Besides, there are many river confluences among these rivers and their tributaries. These places offer scores of sites for boating activities.
It may be pertinent here to mention that eco-tourism was started in the year 2016 under the trend sitting guidance of Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra, who then served as Additional Chief Secretary Forest and Environment. Since then, eco-tourism has recorded a constant increase in the number of visitors to the eco-destination over the years. The boating facilities will add more attractive contours to it. (ANI)