Bihar Tourism- Forest Depts Unite for Eco-Tourism Boost: Plans Announced at Joint Meeting in Patna

Bihar Ministers Unite for Eco-Tourism Boost: Plans Announced at Joint Meeting in Patna

Patna: A joint meeting between the Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Department and the Tourism Department of Bihar was held on Friday at Aranya Bhawan, Patna. The meeting, attended by Dr. Prem Kumar and Nitish Mishra, the ministers of the respective departments, focused on pending state and central schemes and strategies to promote eco-tourism in Bihar. The ministers also planted saplings at Aranya Bhawan, urging residents to support the “Ek Ped Maa Ke Naam” and #Plant4Mother campaigns initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Tourism Department approved a scheme worth Rs 917.52 lakh in Gurpa, Gaya district, to be implemented by the Forest Division Officer, Gaya. Additionally, it was decided to transfer the 5.64-acre land area of ​​Maya Sarovar in Bodhgaya to the Environment Department and exchange the entire land of J.P. Park, Bodh Gaya, with the Tourism Department for tourism development. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two departments for eco-tourism development is forthcoming.

Key issues discussed included forest clearance for a ropeway installation on Mundeshwari mountain, priority access for group tourists and tour operators in the Rajgir zoo and nature safari, and bulk ticket facilities at concessional rates.

Detailed discussions covered tourism development at various sites, including Late Dashrath Manjhi Sthal in Gaya, Vanavar in Jehanabad, Rohtasgarh Fort and Shergarh Fort in Rohtas, Dhuan Kund and Manjhar Kund in Sasaram, Tutla Bhawani and Guptadham in Rohtas, Mon Mangala Gauri in Gaya, Dungeshwari Mountain in Bodh Gaya, Karamchat Dam in Rohtas, Valmikinagar in West Champaran, Ghora-Katora in Rajgir, and Mandar.

An MoU regarding revenue sharing (60:40) for the operation of Hotel Nagarjun Vihar and other hotels in Jehanabad district was also decided upon.

The meeting concluded with plans for infrastructure development by the Forest Department within forest areas and the Tourism Department outside these areas, aiming to promote eco-tourism in sanctuaries and surrounding regions. The departments agreed to use available resources, promote local eco-tourism sites, and share expertise and plans to avoid duplication. They also discussed training forest-adjacent communities in hospitality and marketing forest produce through tourism department outlets.

The meeting was attended by Bandana Preyashi, Secretary of the Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Department, and Abhay Kumar Singh, Secretary of the Tourism Department, along with senior officers N. Jawahar Babu, Prabhat Kumar Gupta, Surendra Singh, and Nand Kishore.