SAMBALPUR: Despite being a tourism hot spot, the proposal to develop Debjharan into an eco-tourism site is yet to take off, thanks to inordinate delay in the release of funds. Famous for its waterfall, Debjharan development project was accorded administrative approval more than a year back. Officials said `94 lakh was sanctioned by the State Government in June last year for development and beautification of the site.
Located around 30 km away from Sambalpur city, Debjharan tourism site is close to Jujomura block, which in the past had witnessed Maoist activities. However, the area is now free of the menace. The place has been witnessing a footfall of over 30,000 tourists every year. A large number of people visit the site between November and January for a picnic. Keeping this in view, it was proposed to develop the site as an eco-tourism destination.
As per the proposal, various development works will be undertaken at the site including construction of a floating jetty, nature’s trail, watchtower, concrete platform, and pathway to reach to waterfall besides three toilets, 40 dustbins and signages. Establishing a boating facility at the reservoir is also on cards.
Two check gates and a parking place along with an eco-tourism cell are also planned under the sanctioned budget. It has also been proposed to impart capacity building training to members of Vana Surakshya Samitis (VSS) so that they can manage the spot after it is developed into an eco-tourism site. Sambalpur DFO Sanjeet Kumar said the Tourism department has been requested to release the funds immediately. He said work on a watchtower from the funds available with the Forest department will be taken up soon.