State to get first ‘fos­sil park’ in Gad­chi­roli dist

The Free Press Journal - - MUMBAI/STATE - DIWAKAR SHARMA

Re­veal­ing its ac­tion plan, Ma­ha­rash­tra Tourism De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion said it would de­velop a tourist cir­cuit besides giv­ing ap­pro­pri­ate pub­lic­ity to the project on so­cial me­dia

First of its kind of tourism des­ti­na­tion in the coun­try, state’s naxal-in­fested Gad­chi­roli district is set to get first fos­sil park. At present the project is at nascent stage as Ma­ha­rash­tra’s Direc­torate of Ar­chae­ol­ogy and Mu­se­ums is gath­er­ing in­for­ma­tion and data from the con­cerned depart­ments like Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey of In­dia (GSI).

“The pro­posed Wadad­ham fos­sil park (nearly 950 kilo­me­tres away from Mum­bai) is lo­cated in Siron­cha Taluka which is at the south­ern tip of the Gad­chi­roli district. The present pro­posed area for the fos­sil park rep­re­sents up­per Gond­wana Kota for­ma­tions be­long­ing to early Juras­sic pe­riod and the sci­en­tific in­ves­ti­ga­tions have re­vealed that present area was near sea,” said Tushar Cha­van, Deputy Con­ser­va­tor of Forests (DCF), Siron­cha, Gad­chi­roli cir­cle.

Cha­van fur­ther added that two pa­le­on­tol­o­gists are about to visit Gad­chi­roli from the USA by April end.

The project, spread across 2 hectare land, would cre­ate job op­por­tu­nity right from watchman to dif­fer­ent posts which will fur­ther up­lift the liv­ing stan­dard of the lo­cal res­i­dents.

The pro­posed fos­sil park would boost the state tourism in­dus­try as it is lo­cated on the NH16 that con­nects Nizam­abad in Te­lan­gana and Jag­dalpur in Ch­hat­tis­garh.

“We would give ap­pro­pri­ate pub­lic­ity on our web­site and so­cial me­dia. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, we would de­velop re­sort net­work around fos­sil park in Gad­chi­roli so that ev­ery tourist go­ing there should not re­turn in a day. Besides this we would cre­ate tourist cir­cuit so that the tourists can visit some cul­tural spots, ar­ti­san’s col­lec­tions, folk dances, etc. Also, we would pro­mote re­gional foods in the area be­cause in Ma­ha­rash­tra the taste of masala curry changes af­ter 15 km,” Aashutosh Rathod, Joint MD, MTDC told the Free Press Jour­nal.

“For each district of the state, we are call­ing pro­pos­als from the col­lec­tor of each district under Re­gional Tourism De­vel­op­ment Scheme (RTDS). So the col­lec­tor of Gad­chi­roli would be in­te­grat­ing into the project to de­velop the in­fras­truc­ture around the pro­posed fos­sil park,” said Rathod.

The fos­sil park will house repli­cas of di­nosaurs and ex­hibits of their bones and plant fos­sils dat­ing back to the pre-his­toric pe­riod – a rare and rich col­lec­tion.

State’s for­est depart­ment is in touch with the GSI, Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey of In­dia (ASI) and Direc­torate of Ar­chae­ol­ogy and Mu­se­ums, Gov­ern­ment of Ma­ha­rash­tra and other depart­ments to shape up the project.

“We will talk to the Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey of In­dia (GSI) for pro­vid­ing ex­per­tise. We in­tend to keep orig­i­nal ob­jects as a lot of fos­sils are found in Siron­cha For­est Divi­sion in Gad­chi­roli district which is han­dled by GSI,” Dr. Te­jas Garge, di­rec­tor of Ma­ha­rash­tra’s Direc­torate of Ar­chae­ol­ogy and Mu­se­ums told the Free Press Jour­nal.

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