Itanagar, Oct 13 (PTI): Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu today urged forest officials to emulate best practices from other states where forest rest houses managed by the government have become popular tourist attractions, an official release said.

Khandu said this while inaugurating the Forest Rest House at Itanagar Biological Park in the presence of Forest Parliamentary Secretary CT Mein, PCCF Omkar Singh and other officials.

The chief minister cited the example of Himachal Pradesh which, according to him, has the best tourist-friendly set up. He said the north Indian state’s forest department has been able to market its natural resources to attract a large number of tourists.

He urged the forest officials to bring in innovations and incorporate local architectural designs using bamboo in construction of forest guest houses to showcase the local culture.

“The tourists, especially the foreigners, don t come here to see cement and brick but they are more interested in things that has a touch of the nature and local traditions,” Khandu said.

He urged the department to hire experts in developing assets, such as parks, zoos, guest houses etc. instead of trying it out themselves, which may suffer due to limited expertise.

Appreciating the efforts of the local community in preserving forest resources around the Itanagar Biological Park, the chief minister expressed happiness that today people are aware about the importance of preservation of wildlife.

Raising concerns over human interventions negatively impacting the natural landscape, he said most of the natural disasters in the state are man-made and urged the departments to adopt construction practises that are more nature-friendly.

Khandu also gave away prizes to winners of essay and drawing completion organised by forest department for school students in celebration of 63rd Wildlife Week.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.