One of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the world’s largest single block mangrove forest will now also be known for its variety of edible fishes.
The Bengal government is set to launch a unique fish tourism enticing the tourists in and outside India. With her policy to increase tourism in the state, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is going whole nine yards to boost Sunderbans as one of the most cherished destination for global tourists.
The plan is to provide a scope to the tourists to witness fish-firming there along with visiting the tiger reserve, biosphere reserve, forest bed and backwater and wide varieties of wild lives especially the Bengal tiger – the elitist among the big cat family.
In a recent meeting at state secretariat, fisheries department minister Chandranath Sinha, Sundarbans development minister, Manturam Pakhira and Bio-technology minister Ashis Banerjee had prepared a draft plan of this project.
“The money spent by the tourists will go for the development of fishermen communities here. This will be completely eco-friendly tourism programme. The Self-Help Groups of this delta will be benefitted,” said Sundarbans development minister.
However, state fisheries minister is hopeful about the economic upliftment of the poor fish farmers. “Many women are farming carps and shrimps. Their work would be featured in front of the international tourist and they will be benefitted,” said the minister.
Sundarbans is the natural breeding ground of stinging catfish, snakehead murrel and some Indian carps as well. These fishes are generally farmed in the crop-cultivation land where knee-deep water is enough to produce and nurture those fishes.
“We have already given lime and food to the fish-farmers to boost the cultivation there,” said a Sundarbans development department officer.However, state tourism department have recently decided to tie-up with a Kerala based private company to build seven houseboats for Sundarbans. Those houseboats will be plying alongside the creeks of Sundarbans, Tajpur and Mandarmani.
A Public Private Partnership has been invited for the houseboat project.
The state government will provide some specific facilities to this project and the revenue would be shared from the profit.