Trans Sahaydri trek to boost eco-tourism in Sahaydris

Mumbai: With an aim to boost eco tourism in the state, Maharashtra Government is launching the Trans Sahayadri trek from this month.

The trek routes have been identified to trek across Sahayadris from Kolhapur to Bhimashankar. The objective is to provide income from eco tourism to local villages where there is a proposal to develop homestay.

The locals will be eyes and ears of the forest so that trek routes are kept free of litter and watch is kept on poaching and forest fires, Principal Secretary (Forest) Praveen Pardeshi said,

Next week, short treks have been planned from Chandoli- Prachitgad and then camp in one of the home stay villages. Trek to Prachitgad will start on December 8 morning from Karad, Debhewadi.

Earlier on December 6, a smaller trek will be initiated from Bhimashankar to Veloli, a village where homestay has been developed.

Pardeshi said the trek route has been organised and planned by Mohan Karnad, Chief Wildlife Warden of Sahayadri Tiger Reserve with the state government in support of Wildlife Conservation trust (WCT) across length of Sahayadri starting at Radhanagari Sanctuary or from Tillari, Kolhapur along the crest of Sahayadri all the way to Bhimashankar.

It may continue further up to Kalsubai, Harishchandra gad.

The trek can be for 10 days, but each day should result in a night halt in a village located along route. Forest department and the local Zilla Parishad will work with designated night halt villages to create home stay facilities.

In each village, with upgraded homes of villagers, with biodegradable latrines, and complete recycling of plastic.

Each day will be on entry fees basis where fees are collected by village committee (EDC) for maintaining trail, recycling all plastics, ensuring zero fuel, wood felling or fire lighted in jungles.

Signages will be put up at all significant stops history, natural history, plants, bird animal signs.

Trail trek will have to be compulsorily hire village trek guide, paid a daily fees. Guide will ensure that no littering, and also explain history and wildlife and natural habitation along the way, he said.

WCT will provide seed funds for sign ages.

Karnad will use eco-tourism funds to train village guides with licenses to enter sanctuary and organise night halts from villages in and around sanctuary, will fund home stay facilities in night halt villages, Pardeshi said.