Patna: BSTDC to use river cruise to promote eco tourism

PATNA: Introduction of river cruise, which during its journey from Kolkata to Varanasi covers almost 500 kms through Bihar, is being used by the Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) to promote eco-tourism in the state. Services of experts have been used to promote some aspects of tourism hitherto not promoted. These pertain to the bird species and gangetic dolphins.

In order to ensure that only correct information are given to tourists, the BSTDC has roped in services of experts.

Among them, Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) scientist Gopal Sharma will educate tourists about the gangetic dolphins found in Bihar and also their importance in the river eco-system.

Bihar is home to about half the total population of gangatic dolphins in India which is estimated to be about 2,500.

“Sharing information about the dolphins coupled with interactive sessions with tourists has been a very good experience with most of them showing keen interest in knowing more about this aquatic animal,” Sharma said.

And encouraged by the tourists’ response, he is now working on a proposal, which if approved, would allow tourists to move on country boats to have a closer view of the dolphins.

“This would not only be beneficial for tourists but also for fishermen whose boats would be used for the purpose,” Sharma said, adding: “It’ll also address the goal of engaging local fishermen in dolphin conservation work as, apart from making some extra earnings, they would get a chance to know the importance of this aquatic animal.”

Similarly, to promote different species of birds among tourists, the BSTDC is taking the services of Indian Bird Conservation Network (IBCN) state co-ordinator Arvind Mishra.

“Bihar is home to seven out of eight varieties of storks found in India, including the greater adjutant stork, which is among the rarest. I highlight this point during my interaction with tourists,” Mishra said.

He said introduction of river cruise allows tourists to watch varieties of birds found in the Ganga and on its banks and the interactive session helps them in getting insight of certain aspects related to birds.

River cruise apart, the BSTDC, as its maiden venture, has set up a photo gallery of birds at the tourist village set up at the famous Sonepur fair this year.

“The purpose was to promote Bihar as a destination for tourists interested in bird watching,” BSTDC deputy general manager Navin Kumar said. He added that both Indian and foreign tourists exhibited great interest in collecting information about the the varieties of birds found in Bihar.

From TOI

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One Response to Patna: BSTDC to use river cruise to promote eco tourism

  1. Hope this eco tourism venture helps the fragile aquatic life of Ganga. It may cause pollution increase in the river.

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