Uttarakhand: Efforts underway to develop Benital as 'astro-village'
The Chamoli district administration in Uttarakhand has stepped up efforts to develop Benital in Karnaprayag block as an astro-village, according to officials. "A team headed by District Magistrate Himanshu Khurana visited Benital on Thursday to explore what can be done to generate interest among tourists in the upcoming project," they said. Notably, Benital is located at an altitude of 2,600 meters above sea level.
Benital will offer visitors close view of astronomical events: Officials
The officials said, "Benital will offer visitors an easy and close view of stars, planets, and astronomical events once it becomes an astro-village equipped with large telescopes and a night-vision dome." "Cottages, pathways, tent platform, restaurant with a reception, and two parking lots are also being built in Benital by the Tourism department for visitors as part of the project," Khurana said.
Estimated expense stands at Rs. 5 crore: DM
"The department has estimated a total expense of five crore rupees for the project and submitted a report to the administration. It has entrusted the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam with the responsibility of developing Benital as an astro-village," the DM said.
It can generate self-employment opportunities for locals: Khurana
"A preliminary clearance for the transfer of forest land for the project has already been secured. Once Benital becomes an astro-village, it can generate self-employment opportunities for locals due to increased tourist activities," Khurana said. He advised the department to immediately start repairing the road from Simli to Benital and putting up signage along the route to attract more tourists to the place.