Srinagar July 24 : Several eco-tourism spots, set up by the forest department across the Kashmir Valley, are gradually gaining momentum, as good number of the visitors have arrived at these spots.
Official data, available with news agency, reveals that more than 90 thousand visitors have arrived so far in these eco-parks, spread across different places of North Kashmir.
As per data, the forest department has set up around half a dozen eco-parks across the north Kashmir alone, which include 2 in Langate forest division, one each in Kamraj, Kehmil and J V forest division.
Meanwhile, an official said that eco-tourism is a comparatively a new concept but it is gaining popularity among tourists and it not only helps conserve the ecology of a place but also helps the local economy as it provides villagers with a source of income.
He said that one of the examples can be seen outside the ‘Nagri Wari Park in Handwara, where dozens of vendors are earning their daily bread, by selling different kinds of items to visitors. “This eco- park recorded footfall of 5000 in the month of July.”
Talking to KNS Conservator Forest Department North Kashmir Irfan Rasool Wani said that they have significant forest cover in north Kashmir and the plan is to conserve these forests by involving all stakeholders.
He said that the department offers tremendous eco-tourism opportunities so they can explore such forest areas which can sustain nature based tourism and does not affect the health of the forests.
“We are also focusing on creating forest based livelihood for local people from activities such as ecotourism, medicinal plants and other minor forest produce,” he added. (KNS)