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Munger next: Bihar forest dept looks beyond Valmiki Tiger Reserve

In a bid to promote tourism in Bihar, the forest department is making efforts to develop wildlife reserves in the Munger range.

Divisional Forest Officer, Munger range, Neeraj Narayan told IANS that the place has a wide forest area with a large number of animals.

“For people who love to stay near nature, the Munger forest range is an ideal place. I admit that it is lacking in basic amenities. We want to develop a quality eco-friendly tourist complex to attract tourists to the region,” Narayan said.

“At present, tourists generally come here from November to February as the weather is cooler. The place has a water body which is a major attraction. We want to develop it as a swimming area to provide a good experience to the visitors,” Narayan added.

The Munger forest range is spread all the way to Lakhi Sarai from one end and Jamalpur town at the other end. Unlike the Valmiki Tiger Reserve comprising only plains, Munger is a combination of plains and hilly areas.

“We have not fully confirmed the presence of major animals like tigers, panthers or leopards in the Munger range but we know that it has a large number of hyenas, bears, deer and other animals. This place has a great potential for developing forest reserves with the facility of a jungle safari. We are planning a survey of Munger range to find out the actual forest cover,” Narayan said.

He pointed out some challenges related to the security of visitors as Munger is a naxal hit district.

Besides Munger, the environment and forest department has also planned to construct a tourist complex in Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) in West Champaran district.

The tourist complex with world class facilities will be spread over three acres of land which is earmarked in the Manguraha forest area of VTR. The VTR administration has written to district magistrate Kundan Kumar about this.

“After the land is given by the district administration, we will plan the Detailed Project Report (DPR) and send it to the district administration for sanctioning of funds,” said an officer of the VTR.

VTR is the only tiger reserve in Bihar spread all the way from Nepal and the forest area of West Champaran. It has a great potential for a jungle safari, pathways, Kauleshwar Jhula, eco park to attract tourists. Besides, it also has Jatashankar temple, Nardevi temple, Madanpur Devi Asthan. At present, tourists generally come in the morning and leave by the evening due to the lack of tourist resorts where they could stay at night.

The Bihar government has also developed a jungle safari in Rajgir.

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