The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet on Tuesday gave its approval for setting up an eco-tourism development board to fully utilise the tourism potential of the state.
The board will be headed by the state chief minister with ministers of 10 departments as its members, Tourism Minister Jaiveer Singh told newspersons here.
The need for the board was being felt for long and a decision to set it up was taken at the meeting presided over by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, he said.
The minister said the board will help the state attract domestic and international tourists.
There are vast historical, cultural, religious heritage and natural resources in the state needing proper publicity, which will be done through this board, he said.
Ten departments included in the board are tourism, forest, AYUSH, rural development and irrigation, urban development, agriculture, horticulture, sport and transport.
The chief secretary of the state will be its member secretary and experts from prominent institutions will also be included in this.
The tourism minister said the state has a forest cover of 16, 582 sq km with beautiful landscapes, flowing rivers, waterfalls, availability of endangered birds and animals.
The state has 36 wildlife sanctuaries, 12 bird sanctuaries, nine state eco-tourism circuits which can be fully exploited, he said.
In another decision, the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet gave its nod to start a night safari in the Lucknow’s Kukrail forest area and also shift a city zoo there.
Without disturbing around 2,027 hectares forest area, the Cabinet has decided to set up a night safari on 350 acres and a zoo on 150 acres there, the minister said.
Nawab Wajid Ali Shah Zoological Park is currently spread over 26 hectares.
Without disturbing the vegetation and other things, only the open area that is not in use presently will be utilised for the night safari, the minister said, adding that the outer area of the forest will get four-lane roads.
There are also plans to develop an attractive river front on the Kukrail river flowing in the area, he said.
The Cabinet also approved upgrading Food Craft Institute in Aligarh for preparing skilled workforce, the minister added.