Himachal 1st Ethno –Botanical Park to be set up in Una 

Himachal first Ethanol Botanical park aiming to  conserve  the endangered, vulnerable   species of plants and trees of  kangra, Una, Bilaspur and Hamirpur Districts  in lower Shiwaliks hills  is being set up in a 26.10 hectare Androli on the forest(UPF) area in Bangana sub-division of  Una District in Himachal Pradesh said  Virender Kanwar Rural Development Minister. The construction  work in the park  started in Feb 2022 and  will be completed by August  2022 .The  Ethno  Botanical park  ,  being developed by forest department in convergence with Rural Development Department and Tourism Department  with total  cost of around 8 crore rupees is adjacent to  Govind Sagar Lake  to associate young minds, nature lovers and enthusiasts to gain knowledge about floristic biodiversity of the region. The garden will be home to  about 150 rare  varieties of plants and trees, spread across 2  blocks  many of these have been acquired from different  nurseries Mr Kanwar said. One Block  would be set up  adjacent to Govind Sagar lake to promote  seasonal visits of migratory birds to the different wetlands situated in the district and  facilitate bird photographers and bird watchers to promote tourism in the area. Another on the right side with lush green forest which would feature 6-8 kM of eco trail, forest observation post , sitting areas. This part of the park is naturally endowed with many plant species. The idea behind developing this is to learn while walking. All the species present here will be having signages depicting  brief descriptions about plants. A modern nursery is planned exclusively for promoting and raising species found in lower shiwaliks  focusing more on  native species. Nursery raising techniques for native species would be standardized and documented. Forest observation posts are   planned at a strategic location from where one  can feel the vastness of the entire stretch of the forest and the Govind Sagar Lake. This would be a great  asset for bird watchers and nature lovers.  The main developmental activities  will be undertaken in   2 hectares  of visitors’ zone of the botanical garden which will be made accessible for  visitors,  research scholars , students, and nature lovers. Some of the special features of the garden include wooden bridges, café, souvenir shops, parking  facilities, wooden houses, gazebos, kids play area, open gym, he said. Himachal Pradesh Forest Department will develop this park  in Convergence mode with the Rural Development Department and Tourism Department which will generate employment opportunities to around 1000 people. The District Administration has allotted around 4 crore to achieve the objective of Ethno Botanical park. HP Forest Department has  allotted a budget  for construction of forest observation post. Rain Water Harvesting Structure will be constructed in the park with initial cost of around Rs 62 lakhs  under prestigious “Jal Bhandaran Scheme” to create water bodies that could store 8 – 10 lac liters of water. Una Forest Division is planning   creation of an Interpretation centre and undertake other developmental works with estimated cost of Rs 2 crore during next financial  year, Minister said. Eco Trails or Ecotracks  are being planned for the whole area to uncover the hidden plant biodiversity under the Eco Tourism Livelihood Programme. Approximately 8-10 KM long eco trails would be made from locally available stones  to cover the entire area.There are around 10 different sections at the park based on the category of plants. Among these, the laser area, night garden and butterfly park are expected to attract many tourists while the greenhouse and Ayurveda garden will be the venue for botanical knowledge sharing. A Solid waste management facility with special focus  on plastic waste is also envisaged. This will collect, sort and reuse the plastic waste  generated in and around this facility, he added.

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