Bhubaneswar: To promote eco-tourism, the state government is planning to introduce a trekking and hiking programme, ‘Eco-trails Odisha’, at different tourist destinations in 20 districts across the state.
The Forest and Environment Department has been asked to identify around 8-10 trekking and hiking routes in and around 10 sq km area of all 40 ecotourism destinations. Work is on to document habitat, local flora and fauna as well as interesting facts about the wildlife on those trekking and boating routes, official sources said.
As a part of the programme, Eco-Tourism Group (ETG) members managing destinations or nature camps and forest staff in Satkosia, Mahanadi, Bhitarkanika and Similpal are currently being imparted training.
Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Mahanadi WL Division-cum-DCF Eco-tourism Anshu Pragyan Das said that trekking facility is already available at these 40 destinations and around 320 trails will be ready by next year.
“More than 500 ETG members will be trained as eco-guides and naturalists for the programme. They will be provided with adequate ICT materials to explain the tourists about the landscape during trekking, birding, boating, hiking, safari and also during other activities at the nature camps,” she added.