In a unique move, the state government has decided to set up a Leopard Safari at Khoyerbari of
Madarihat, which will be one of the major tourist attractions in the state.
The state government also wants to set up a deer park and a bird watching centre, where visitors can see various species of birds.
Several initiatives have been taken to give a new look to the Eco Park at Kunjonagar and the tiger rehabilitation centre at Khoyerbari, situated close to the Jaldapara forest.
Along with some senior forest department officials, state Tourism minister Goutam Deb and North Bengal Development minister Rabindranath Ghosh have already visited the spot where the proposed Leopard Safari would come up.
According to a senior Forest department official, the Leopard Safari and the deer park will come up on a 23-hector land of the state forest department. The measurement of land and the detailed project report are about to complete and the report will be sent to the Centre for its clearance. It is expected that the Chief Minister during her North Bengal tour in January will lay the foundation of the new projects.
According to North Bengal Development minister Rabindranath Ghosh, the Safari park will maintain international standards.
His department will extend all possible help to the new projects. It has been learnt that Rs 10 crore would be spent for the projects in the initial phase. The state government has already talked to the Centre regarding the construction of Safari park. Senior officials of the Zoo Authorities of India have also visited the site.
A senior forest department official said that leopards that often enter residential localities would be rehabilitated in the proposed Leopard Safari. A deer breeding centre would be set up to increase the number of deer of the species, which are on the verge of extinction.
Once the projects are completed, a large number of tourists are expected to visit the place. The number of tourists coming to Bengal has increased compared to previous years. West Bengal secures 5th position among all other states in terms of tourist inflow.