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PTI

The Odisha government is planning eco-tourism on Deomali peak in Koraput district, Chief Secretary S C Mohapatra has said.

The peak, at an elevation of 1,672 metres, is the tallest in the Eastern Ghats.

"I visited Deomali hilltop. We had a detailed discussion on how eco-tourism can be developed there. Site selection for a retreat has also been done," Mohapatra told reporters at Koraput on Saturday.

He said the Forest Department will soon start work on the project.

"We will build cottages. Locals are already involved in tourism and are charging some fees for vehicles visiting the place. A gate has been constructed. I had discussions with villagers on how they can provide better amenities," he said.

Mohapatra hoped that Deomali will become the most sought-after destination in the future, and tourism will be the source of income for hundreds of villagers.

Deomali, situated near Doodhari village, around 70 km from Koraput town, is surrounded by dense forest rich in flora and fauna. The hill is also rich in mineral resources such as bauxite, limestone and gemstones.

Dotted with brooks and deep valleys, Deomali is inhabited by tribes such as Kandhas, Parajas, Bhumia, Malis and Bhotias.

Apart from its scenic beauty, it is also a suitable destination for adventure lovers for hang gliding and trekking.

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