Visakhapatnam: The Visakhapatnam division of the forest department and the National Thermal Power Corporation, Simhadri, are collaborating to establish an eco-tourism complex near Ananthagiri in Alluri Seetharama Raju district.
The district forest officer, Anant Shankar, said CSR funds would be utilised for this project. The proposed project is for a period of three years with a total budget outlay of Rs. 5.50 crores. NTPC Simhadri will disburse an amount of Rs. 2.50 crores for the first year. In addition, government funds will also be used for different works at the proposed centre.
The DFO said the project is proposed under Mission Conserve Eastern Ghats and aimed to tap the tourism potential of the serene natural landscape of the Tribal Agency area in Ananthagiri. In addition, it will help generate livelihoods for local tribal communities in the area. The proposed centre will work on the model of community-based eco-tourism where local community is trained to manage the eco-tourism and they derive the benefits from the project. The local tribal community will be the custodian of the facility.
The revenue generated from the proposed centre will be used solely for the management of the facility and the surplus amount will be used for community development and forest and wildlife conservation works.
The centre will have eco-cottages, an interpretation centre, non-timber forest produce (NTFP) processing centre, an open butterfly garden, Orchidarium, a medicinal plants garden, and a watch tower. Further, efforts will be made to document the traditional knowledge and culture of the tribals and showcase them to the public.
This centre will be the first of its kind in the region and will provide opportunities for tourists and visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of the Eastern Ghats and learn about them.