AGARTALA, August 22: With an aim to promote tourism in a big way, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has called for holding a hornbill festival like the one in Nagaland to attract tourists.
Since hornbills are also found in considerable numbers in Tripura, it will be a wise step to host such a festival that has already made a mark in Nagaland, Deb said in a meeting with officials of the State Wildlife Board.
An elaborate discussion took place in the meeting on raising a preservation centre for hornbills at the Barmura Eco Park in Khowai district. However, no final decision has been taken in this regard so far.
Urging the wildlife board to ensure better coordination with the Tourism Department, the Chief Minister, who presided over the meeting, said there is a huge potential in forest and wildlife tourism in the State.
“A plan has been chalked out to open a new tourism route from the MBB Airport to Coxbazar (Bangladesh) through religious and archeological sites of the State to attract tourists. A facelift should be given to the Sepahijala Zoo, he said.
Deb said the wildlife board must think of introducing a bison safari at the Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary in South Tripura district. It must also launch a campaign on arrival of migratory birds to the Sepahijala Zoo.
DK Sharma, Chief Wildlife Warden, briefed the Chief Minister on the steps taken as follow-up to the decisions taken by the last wildlife board. A vulture conservation centre at Kalyanpur may be set up as discussed in the meeting.
“No discussion took place on raising an elephant sanctuary in the Atharamura hill range of Khowai and Dhalai district,” an official said. It is presumed that the board has abandoned the plan for the elephant sanctuary due to strong opposition from indigenous people who fear large-scale eviction in the hilly areas. (Courtesy: AT)