Maharashtra is in the process of connecting nearly 350 locations and developing them into an eco-tourism circuit. They will be developed into a common grid for developing popular tourist spots in the state.

Maharashtra Minister of Finance, Planning and Forests, Sudhir Mungantiwar said that during the first phase, around 43 destinations under the grid will be taken up, whereas the remaining ones will be developed in the second and third phase. The state government has set aside INR 351 crore for developing this circuit.

The minister said that the Maharashtra Eco-tourism Board is already working on the project, and will also include Mumbai’s Sanjay National Park to it. He further stated that Maharashtra is the best state for all types of tourism, and is home to majestic forts, forest safaris, coastal tourism, and spiritual tourism. Moreover, tourism plays an important role in creating employment opportunities for locals in the state. Plus, the Eco-tourism Board would be implementing various initiatives considering all these aspects, which will be one of the major projects of the board.

Referring to this development, officials stated that this circuit will include and connect 124 forest gardens, six tiger projects, 43 historical forts, 52 religious destinations, 33 wildlife sanctuaries, 5 hill stations, and 55 eco-tourism destinations. While the first phase will be developing 43 eco-tourism spots, the second phase will include another 139.

It is believed that the project will encourage employment opportunities for local people, such as providing vehicles for tourists, through homestays, and being tourist guides; locals will also be provided with training and basic facilities.