Mannavanur village on the upper Kodaikanal hill will become a major tourists’ attraction as it will have an Eco Park soon as part of the state’s Biodiversity Conservation and Greening Project.

Under the new programme, the Park will have a trekking path and resting places at a particular distance for trekkers and tourists to sit and relax.

The Park will not only entertain tourists with physical activities but also educate them by giving lot of information about environment, ecology, plant species and flora and fauna of hill and importance of forests and Shola forests.

Already, 1,500 rare species of saplings were planted at the village to increase the forest cover.

All existing natural resources will be utilised without disturbing their ecology and environment, forest officials assured.

Creating awareness on importance of forests and need for protection of its wealth was prime aim of the park, they said.

While inspecting the proposed site at Mannavanur village here on Tuesday, Forest Minister M.S.M. Anandan and Minister for Power R. Viswanathan discussed in detail about various development projects and about conservation measures on the hill with Chief Conservator of Forests S. Yuv Raj, Conservator of Forests P.R. Ikram Mohammad Sha and Kodaikanal DFO Venkatesh and Dindigul DFO D. Sampath Kumar. Mr. Anandan enquired about patch of land that was leveled within reserve forests at Mannavanur and directed officials to check.

When local people appealed to help implementation of long pending Lower Gundar drinking water scheme to augment drinking water supply, he assured to take steps.

(The Kodaikanal municipality had proposed to lift water lower Gundar Falls, near observatory to meet growing drinking water needs as the existing water sources have insufficient storage facilities.)

Mannavanur, 30 km away from Kodaikanal, has a serene lake and large tract of lush green prairies and mountain slopes.

Already, the serene lake and shola village have been attracting sizable number of tourists. The forest department has been maintaining a big plant nursery with endangered species at the village to meet its saplings needs for afforestation programme.

The team also inspected Berijam lake, one of the most secluded and pure water sources in the hill station.

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