Sunday, January 8, 2012

COVER STORY: Stale Stalls Welcome Visitors at ITF

VOL: 35 | ISSUE: 23 | FRIDAY | 6 JANUARY 2012

Stale Stalls Welcome
Visitors at ITF

By Staff Reporter

If you wish to take a canopy walk in the deep forests of the Islands, you will need to wait another four years. But, ITF provides a shorter version. The stall of Dept of Environment and Forests provides a peek into the wild with animated sounds and feels of the jungle.
However, the tall talk about a real canopy walk will have to wait as the required quantity of the best quality Padauk is not happening. The required quantity of padauk is about 350 cubic, whci costs about Rs One and half crores in the market. The quality and the girth required is not readily available and it is learnt that only about 10 cubic of the required quantity has been procured by the Contractor.
"Why can't they use Khadi Mahuwa, which is good and long lasting timber, which can withstand any climate?" asks a Forest official. "It would be a daydream if they insist on using polished padauk for canopy walk," he said.
It is pertinent that usually, canopy walks have a rusty feel and look and is not as refined as walking on tiles. "The officers need to shed their city-mindset while planning canopy walks," said a Forest Ranger.
Most of the stalls put by various departments in ITF are half-hearted efforts, which do not say much about tourism potential of the Islands. It's high time; Administration stops the departmental stalls and allows private tour operators to do proper tourism promotion in the stalls.

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