KEDB to open eco-trails around Bengaluru in August
Bosky Khanna, DH News Service, Bengaluru, Jul 17 2017, 1:28 IST
The Karnataka Eco-Tourism Development Board will throw open 10 day-long eco-trails for tourists, including one at Savandurga Hills, in Bengaluru Rural. DH FILE PHOTO
Come August, the Karnataka Eco-Tourism Development Board (KEDB) will throw open 10 eco-trails for tourists. These trekking trails include famous and lesser-known hillocks and reserve forest patches.
Of the 10 routes, nine are around Bengaluru, while one is in Chikkamagaluru. The board is yet to finalise the rates for these day-long treks.
“This is the first phase of the eco-trails around Bengaluru. They have been officially identified by the Board and the Forest department. All other trails around the city, apart from the ones in Western Ghats, are considered illegal. The Forest department and the Board would be regulating trails across the state in a phased manner,” Vinay Luthra, the chairman of KEDB, told DH.
The Forest department has introduced trekking routes in Western Ghats. At present, all these routes have been closed because of the monsoon. “The decision to open new trails was decided at a board meeting last week. We are now working on the finer details before launching it by this month end,’’ he said, adding that trails will be opened to people in the first week of August.
The KEDB has also trained 30 guides for the trails around Bengaluru. The trek routes vary between 7 km and 14 km. “These are all designed for day-long trekking only. Trekking used to happen in forest patches earlier, but was not permitted officially. People used to take permission from some officers privately. There were no set rules and regulations as it was happening unofficially in the forest patches. Now there will be a series of forest rules to follow, along with a set of ‘dos and don’ts’ and it will be official. Also, each trekking group will have a regulated nature guide, in the absence of whom, no one will be allowed,” Luthra added.