Agumbe to be declared plastic-free zone

Veerendra P.M.
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Tourists will not be allowed to carry eatables to the Sunset View Point

Agumbe calling: The authorities have planned to develop a tourism circuit in the Agumbe region by upgrading the amenities for tourists.
Agumbe calling: The authorities have planned to develop a tourism circuit in the Agumbe region by upgrading the amenities for tourists.

The Department of Forests has formulated a master plan to develop ecotourism in Agumbe, the place known for its scenic sunset, high rainfall, evergreen rainforest and cascading waterfalls. Agumbe has witnessed high inflow of tourists in recent times.

The plastic and waste littered all around the place by tourists has wrecked the ecology of the region. There were serious concerns from ecologists on the decrease in the amount of rainfall in recent times. In wake of these developments, the Department of Forests has planned initiatives to maintain the serenity of the region.

It has been decided to declare Agumbe a plastic-free zone and introduce scientific waste management practices. Food stalls will be constructed to accommodate the petty vendors operating near Sunset View Point. Henceforth, carrying eatables and plastic bags to sunset view point will be banned.

Containers will be placed for disposal of waste. The waste collected in the containers will be scientifically bifurcated. The biodegradable waste will be dumped in 150 acre land in outskirts of Agumbe, and the non-biodegradable waste will be recycled. The dumping ground will be fenced to prevent entry of wild animals.

As haphazard parking of vehicles here by tourists created traffic problems, a parking slot will be developed. An area of 210 hectares near Agumbe has been declared as Medicinal Plant Conservation Area (MPCA). Students who undertake study and research visit MPCA regularly where more than 300 species of rare medicinal plants have been identified. The approach road to the MPCA will also be developed. Funds have been earmarked to fence the MPCA.

Signboards containing details on the species of plants found here, and messages on the need to conserve them will be installed.

It has been planned to develop a tourism circuit in the region by upgrading the amenities for tourists in Kundadri hill located nearby, Onake Abbi and Jogigundi waterfalls. Approaching roads to these places from Agumbe will be developed. Steps will also be constructed to reach the bottom of Onake Abbi and Jogigundi waterfalls.

Speaking to The Hindu over telephone, Deputy Conservator of Forests Venkateshan said the implementation of these plans would enable the tourists to enjoy the scenic charm of the place in a better way, and understand its ecological importance.

The State Government has released Rs. 10 lakh for the project in the first phase, he added.




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