ANDHRA PRADESH

Eco-tourism to be developed at Kuntala falls

BREATHTAKING VIEW: A view of the picturesque Kuntala waterfalls in Adilabad district.

BREATHTAKING VIEW: A view of the picturesque Kuntala waterfalls in Adilabad district.  

S. Harpal Singh

POCHERA (ADILABAD DT.): The concept of eco-tourism will be echoing in the sylvan Kuntala river valley soon as the Forest Department undertakes its tourism promotion. The department will hand over management of the tourist facilities at the two waterfalls of Kuntala and Pochera to the local Vana Samrakshana Samitis (VSS).

Kuntala and Pochera waterfalls dot the Kuntala river (also known as Kupti river) on either side of the national highway number 7 falling in Neredigonda and Boath mandals, respectively. The former is about 60 kms while the latter is about 53 kms away from Adilabad. The river course is also the host to a few other scenic falls.

On July 15, a batch of six villagers from Kuntala will be sent to Hyderabad for training in catering and as guides. The villagers will be drawn from the local VSS membership.

"The locals should have a stake in the natural wealth," opined the Adilabad Conservator of Forests, B.S. Yousuf Sharief. "Besides, they should be able to earn a decent livelihood," he added, on the rationale of involving villagers.

"The locals can learn about ecology. They can learn about the different flora and fauna through our endeavour. They will know the value of ecological conservation," said the Adilabad Divisional Forest Officer, Thimma Reddy.

On the kind of tourist facilities to be made available at Kuntala and Pochera waterfalls, he said a nature trekking park, pedal boats and provision for fishing will be major attractions. The trainees will manage all these facilities besides the canteen and day shelters.

"Special attention will be given to design the facilities. Care will be taken to see that these blend with the nature around," revealed Mr. Sharief. Due to insufficient rainfall this season, there is hardly any water in the Kuntala falls.

However, there is some flow of water at Pochera.

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