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Two eco-tourism projects mooted

The Forest Department has mooted two eco-tourism projects in the Solan Forest Division to encourage eco-friendly activities and promote tourism. These activities include developing mountain trails, camping sites and nature parks.

One such project is mooted from the Nagali bridge-Chewa-Barog railway station-Shamlech-Chilla- Manjholi, passing through the forests and government land of Barog and Sultanpur beats of the Dharampur Block in the Solan Forest Division. “Walking trails have been proposed along this track as it presents a vast stretch of bridle paths which can be explored for adventurous activities,” said Prem Mahajan, DFO, Solan.

The total length of the trail is about 8.6 km from the Nagali Bridge and it leads to the Barog railway station, Shamlech, Chilla, Manjholi and it comprises lush green, thick pine and oak forests, rich in flora and fauna and traversing this trail will offer a thrilling experience to a holiday reveller. This trail also connects the heritage railway track (Kalka-Shimla) at Barog railway station, thus offering a package of pollution-free ambiance in the lap of nature. As much as Rs 2 crore would be needed for the development of the existing trail and develop three camping sites and one nature park, besides beatification and undertaking soil and moisture conservation works.

The Karol Ka Tibba is another proposal mooted by officials, which offers a historical and religious sojourn to a holiday reveller. As many as 12 villages have developed around the periphery of Karol Ka Tibba and tourist can experience an adventurous journey while climbing to the hill top of Karol, which is full of deodar, kail, ban and other trees.

Having four peaks, it has various ancient temples and is perched 7,500 ft above the sea level. It has a religious significance dating back to the times of the Mahabharata and is a popular trek of local trekkers.

Many leading personalities have visited the place. Among eminent personalities who visited the trek include former President of India KR Narayanan. Hence keeping in view its significance, the project is being taken up for the development of trail from Dedgharat to Karol Ki Devi Temple (Shikhar temple) along with landscaping of temple around Karol cave / Karol Devi and illumination by solar energy conventional electricity construction of general toilets, and natural water sources conservation so that it could be developed as wholesome tourist destination.

An estimate of Rs 5.26 crore has been prepared to convert this trek into a tourist’s delight revealed Mahajan who said the project would take two years for completion.

The Tribune (02-01-2014)