The Jammu and Kashmir government is planning to set up a first-of-its-kind ecological park along a riverbed in the foothills of Pir Panjal ranges in Rajouri district with an aim to boost tourism in the area. The park being developed on Koteranka area will be a one stop destination for eco-tourism, children excursions, study tours, home-stays, amusement and different other activities. Special components are being designed for educational values particularly about local flora and fauna, they said.
Rajouri District Development commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said the work is in full swing at the park to be set up at a cost of INR 5.88 crore. “Work in full swing at region’s first eco-park. It will be a great destination for conservation education, recreation and nature trails,” he said in a series of tweets. “Park planned along Ans riverbed in the foothills of Pir Panjal ranges near Koteranka aimed at tapping tourism potential of this region,” he added.
The park will also have a herbal garden, a cactus garden, besides a children amusement park. The district administration has also co-ordinated with the WWF-India, the country’s leading conservation organisation, for development of environment conservation study area, nature trail, wildlife exhibitions and a number of initiatives, assistant development commissioner Noor Alam said.
The WWF has already provided 10 camping tents and a solar power plan is working on an educational model, he said, adding that the work on the chain link fencing on 276 kanal (13.8 hectares) of land, construction of approach road, service road, tracks, water bodies and other assets has been started.
The district administration is planning to train a group of at least eight local youths to organise and host different activities, Choudhary said. He said he had asked for mapping of hamlets around the park for the development to showcase local culture and to promote the home-stay concept to reflect the culture and traditions of the region.