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For A Vintage Accommodation, Come To Parvati Division Forest In HP

IFS officer Aishwarya Raj has renovated many forest rest houses, offices and staff accommodation in the Parvati Division The aim is to beautify and restore the old charm of the forest life The rest houses that are renovated are in Kasol, Garsa valley and Bhuin
Indian Masterminds Stories

To glorify and bring back the old charm of the forest life that once used to be, IFS officer Aishwarya Raj who is the Deputy Conservator of Forest, Parvati Division has renovated and revamped many rest houses, offices and staff accommodation during past two years in Himachal Pradesh. 

REST HOUSE RENOVATION

Back in 2021, when Mr Raj joined the division, after the inspections of the ranges, he realized that they have a lot of infrastructure that was created several decades ago but was in dilapidated condition lying unused. Some rest houses are 100 years old. In addition, many forest guard quarters, field staff accommodation and check posts dated back to at least 50-70 years old. 

Speaking with Indian Masterminds, Mr Raj said, “I felt that instead of creating new infrastructure, where ever we have existing ones can be worked on reviving those, as they also have a value attached to them.” The rest houses that the forest department has renovated are in Garsa valley, Kasol, and Bhuin and were built between 1905-1909. 

Forest Guard Hut, Diyar

The idea was not to completely modernize it but to give it a traditional touch the way it was built back then. Mr Raj further said that there was a need for renovation in terms of the panelling, furniture, painting, fencing and protecting the area from biotic pressure. 

DIVISONAL OFFICE RENOVATION 

Not only the rest houses, but the officer has also renovated his own division office which was in a shabby condition when he joined as DCF here. Along with this, there is a petrol pump located right outside the office, almost 55 years old, which too has also been worked on.

Divisional Office Parvati

He mentioned that, back in those days, it was the only filling pump for the entire Himachal Pradesh belonging to Shell company. Shell had put the pump for the transportation timber across Himachal then part of Punjab.

HYGIENE & CLEANLINESS 

The administration is not renovating the rest houses only for tourism. Instead, it is to provide a safe and hygienic experience to the people who are visiting the place.  In these rest houses, the department has put out some pictures of famous forest places nearby, to help visitors plan their trip.

“The focus is to ensure hygiene and cleanliness as well as maintenance of these rest houses. We have tried to inculcate a sense of belonging and ownership amongst our field staff, so that they be extra careful with these renovated infrastructures,” the officer said. 

Garsa Forest Rest House

The booking for these rest houses is done through the eco-tourism website of Himachal Pradesh through which revenue is generated.  

TENTS IN KASOL

The forest division has also introduced tented accommodation in Kasol for people who want to experience the traditional mountain experience, which is more for backpackers and hitchhikers.  

Along with this, an old dysfunctional Van Thana is being converted into a Nature Conservation Centre Near Mohal Nature Park as a source of nature-learning for tourists and visitors.

Nature Conservation Centre

Sharing his experience, the officer says that it is a learning experience for everybody. “Wherever one is, you need to treat that place as your own home. My field staffs are happy with the developments that took place. It has been a very positive response and that also lead to improved staff behaviour,” Mr Raj concluded.  


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