Tharu tribe-dominated village along Indo-Nepal border to become tourism spot
(Sourced from PTI)
A Tharu tribe-dominated village along the Indo-Nepal border in Bahraich will be developed as a tourist destination under the Uttar Pradesh government's One District, One Eco-Tourism Spot scheme, a forest official said on Thursday. Under the scheme, eco-tourism centers are being developed in districts and forest divisions to attract tourists, Bahraich Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Manish Singh, said.
The DFO said that an eco-tourism center is already operational in the Katarniaghat Forest Division but there was no such place in Bahraich and the Tharu tribe-dominated Balaigaon village has been selected for it. As there are no trees in a particular zone, tourism facilities can be developed without cutting trees. The picturesque forest area is home to rich fauna.
Tharu tribals still maintain their cultural traditions and practices. The main focus of developing the spot is to attract Nepalese tourists. Roads, accommodation, and other necessary facilities are being developed as per the forest policy to attract tourists. Nature walk track and tourist park will be built in the green belt. Ponds in the area will be also developed to attract Siberian birds.
In the first phase, the government will spend Rs. 2 crore on the project. The eco-tourism facility will have a 10-km-long safari track, four Tharu huts, and four specially designed vehicles equipped with trained guides and drivers for jungle safari. A Tharu canteen will be set up where tourists can taste traditional food. UP Eco-Tourism Corporation will operate the destination through online bookings.
The DFO said thousands of citizens from Nepal come daily to do business and shopping in the market of Baligaon. "Since the lifestyle of the village is similar to that of Nepalis, our main goal is to attract Nepalese tourists," he said. Besides boosting government revenue, the tourism spots will also provide employment opportunities to locals, the DFO added.