Kendrapara (Odisha) [India], January 24 (ANI): Underscoring that the Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha holds an important place under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Dekho Apna Desh' initiative, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan called for national and international exposure for the tourism destination.
"I had the opportunity today to visit for the first time the world-famous Bhitarkanika National Park. It is a beautiful area. There is a lot of potential from the point of view of tourism here. I congratulate the Odisha Tourism department for starting eco-retreats here as well as at four other locations in the state," Pradhan told ANI here.
"There should be national and international exposure for this destination. Under Prime Minister's 'Dekho Apna Desh' initiative, Bhitarkanika is an important destination. Efforts should be made to boost tourism and the local economy," he added.
Pradhan further said that nature has blessed the Bhitarkanika mangrove ecosystem with immense beauty. This is an area where the rivers meet the sea.
"This area will progress through the balance between environment and tourism," he said.
Bhitarkanika National Park is a 145 square km large national park in Kendrapara district in Odisha. It was designated on September 16, 1998, and obtained the status of a Ramsar site on August 19, 2002.
The national park and wildlife sanctuary is inundated by the rivers Brahmani, Baitarani, Dhamra, Pathsala. It hosts many mangrove species and is the second-largest mangrove ecosystem in the country after Sundarbans. It is home to Saltwater crocodile, Indian python, king cobra, black ibis, darters and many other species of flora and fauna. (ANI)