Lucknow, Nov 8: The Tourism Department of Uttar Pradesh has decided to get the fossil park located near Asia’s largest and ancient Salkhan Fossil Park in Sonbhadra district in the list of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
Palaeontologists and tourists from all over the world keep coming to see the fossil park which is estimated to be about 1400 million throughout the year. It has been decided to develop necessary infrastructure facilities to increase the number of tourists at this place.
Tourism Minister Jaiveer Singh on Tuesday said that the government is trying to establish UP on the world map in terms of tourism. “Keeping this in view, efforts are being made to present the fossil park to the world by getting it included in the UNESCO list,” he said.
He said that recently a departmental team visited this park along with Director of Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences (BSIP) Dr MG Thakkar. “Many natural formations are present in Sonbhadra. There are also many scenic spots for tourists and fossil lovers to visit. Therefore tourism development will be done around it,” he said.
The Minister said that the preserved remains of very ancient creatures that once lived on the earth or the impressions left by them in the rocks, which are found safe on the earth’s surface or in the layers of rocks, are called fossils.
He said that observation of different types of fossils shows that different categories of animals have existed on the earth in different periods of time. “Various types of shapes are formed from these which are a subject of attraction for scientists. Apart from this, there are many tourist places in Sonbhadra district. There are also beautiful and picturesque valleys and waterfalls. Due to the increase in the number of tourists, local people will also earn income,” he said.
Singh said that the fossils found in this park are algae and stromatolites type fossils.
“According to estimates it is 1400 million years old. It is maintained by the Forest Department. Most people are not aware of such an old fossil in Sonbhadra. Therefore the number of tourists here is less,” he said.
He said, “Along with developing basic tourist facilities, the Tourism Department will also provide information to the people through various mediums. Due to the increase in its popularity the state government will also get revenue.”
The Minister said that UNESCO is a United Nations organisation which lists cultural and natural heritage sites. “The state includes Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Taj Mahal, Sarnath and Ghats of Varanasi. Efforts are being made to get the Fossil Park located in Sonbhadra district a place in the UNESCO list. The fossils of this fossil park remain a curiosity for geologists and research is being done on them from time to time. Due to the lack of basic facilities around it, the footfall of tourists is less,” he said.