By Shyam Waikhom
IMPHAL, June 16: The Gir Wildlife Sanctuary at Rajkot, Gujarat provides safari facilities attracting foreign tourists everyday and generating more revenue for the State.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his time as the Chief Minister of Gujarat had brought much development in the State including in the tourism sector. Gujarat which is one of the hottest and driest States in the country was turned into one of the greenest States during his time.
The wildlife sanctuary was also developed as an artificial tourist spot.
A BJYM team led by its president Oinam Malesh accompanied by media persons from the State, had toured the sanctuary during their recent visit to Gujarat.
Following the tour of the sanctuary, Malesh expressed desire for the Manipur government to develop the Keibul Lamjao National Park to attract more tourist and generate more revenue.
Malesh said the BJP wants to bring the Modi model of development to Manipur and develop tourism and other sectors in the State which have been neglected by the Congress government in the past more than 12 years.
During the tour of the sanctuary, the team witnessed that the government has also developed fruit tree groves including mangoes.
The sanctuary has also become a popular habitat for the Asiatic Lion and a safari tour in the sanctuary could cost from Rs 5000 to 7000.
A helipad has also been installed inside the sanctuary a helicopter tour of the sanctuary is also provided to the tourists.
Speaking to the team, a farmer from the nearby localities said sometimes they see big cats like the Asiatic Lions and tiger wander outside the protected area of the sanctuary, however no untoward incidents involving the wild animals have been reported so far as they are left undisturbed by the human population, he added.
Indigenous tribes have inhabited the surrounding areas of the sanctuary for a long time, and Narendra Modi`™s government had taken special care to separate the reserved area and the human settlements and at the same time provide alternative means of livelihood for them, he added.
The farmers also sometimes act as tour guides and provide house stays to the tourist which helps in generating income for the villagers, he continued.
Meanwhile, Oinam Malesh asserted that if only the Manipur government could manage the Keibul lamjao National Park in Manipur with such careful and meticulous planning as the Gujarat government is doing at the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, much tourist inflow would be witnessed.
However, unfortunately the State government has totally failed to take any special care of the park and it lies neglected for a long time.
Once the BJP comes to power in Manipur, the park will be properly looked after, he added.