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Sustainable ecotourism: Forest deptt turns inspection huts into guest houses

Post by on Thursday, June 9, 2022

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Pulwama:  For conserving natural resources, Jammu and Kashmir Forest Department has turned its Rest Houses/ Inspection Huts at remote places into guest houses.
These inspection huts within interiors of forests are becoming a new address for visitors at distant tourist spots.
Officials of the forest department told that a huge response was shown by visitors since these huts were thrown open for online booking. One can book any hut of his/her choice on jkforesthuts.com.
“There is a large footfall of tourists; from past three months I am struggling to book a room for my family,” Conservator Forests South Circle, Irfan Ali Shah told Rising Kashmir, adding that he is not able to get a slot, “The site shows all huts booked till 15 December of this year.”
The Rest Houses / Inspections Huts can be found at different exotic locations across Jammu and Kashmir including Keran (Karnah), Ningli (Bandipora), Doodh pathri (Budgam), Mansar, Surinsar (Jammu) and other tourist spots.
In south Kashmir the inspection huts have been built at Pahalgam, Daksum, Dubijan, Dachnipora, Aharbal, Kulgam and Tral.
“The inspection huts would serve as rest houses for officers and employees of the department who used to do varied works at remote places away from civilization,” the forest officer said, adding they would use these huts for night stay after day’s hard work and exhaustion.  He added that these would also serve as centre for interaction between forest officials and tribal people.
He told that these were also accommodating researches working on biodiversity, animal life observers and people on natural sightseeing.
The officer told that the huts have been opened for all visitors for promoting sustainable ecotourism in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The online booking is a part of sustainable ecotourism policy, people don’t need to knock any one’s doors for these huts, they can book any hut for any duration,” he said.
The website of Jammu and Kashmir Forest department reads that these huts were opened to involve people in conservation of natural resources.
“In order to involve people in conservation efforts, Government of Jammu and Kashmir has decided to open these forest Rest Houses/Inspection Huts for nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and people interested in conservation of these natural resources,” the website reads.
Mohammad Ayoub, a youth from Pulwama village, shared his first-hand experience of a night’s stay in such a hut at Dubijan area of Shopian along historic Mughal road.
 “This was a quite amazing experience for me, if you love  cooking then this is a place for you,” he said, “the hut is on the  banks of Rambiara rivulet surrounded by beautiful mountains of Rinura and Shubekori was more comforting than a luxurious hotel.”
 

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