Geo-tourism in Kutch has exemplary potential and this heritage-rich district can be designated as a site for establishment of a National Geopark, according to a research paper by a student of Gujarat Energy and Research Management Institute (GERMI).
The research paper, co-authored by K Swarna of GERMI and S K Biswas of IIT-Kanpur under the guidance of GERMI director Prof T Harinarayana, says the need for development of infrastructure for Geo-tourism is required as the rare geological heritage of Kutch region is eroding and being destroyed due to man-made activities.
The National Geographic Society defines geotourism as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents.
Gujarat's largest district Kutch has spectacular geological monuments like Rapar-Chitrod road section, Bhujia Hill, Goradongar Hill section, Lakhpat section, Khari nadi section from Laiyari to Chhasra, among others, which possess various geological importance.
Harinarayana said, "The paper will be published at the end of this month in Journal of Environmental Protection."
The paper suggests that the project of establishing the National Geopark in Kutch will be unique and it will herald the beginning of Geo-tourism industry in India.
The paper also highlights that the present Gujarat government is unaware of Kutch's rich geological heritage and its economic potential in terms of geotourism.
It also says that the government should take initiative in protection and preservation of the geological heritage of the district by declaring it as a National Geopark.
The declaration of a site as National Geopark, the paper states, can enable it to become the member of Global Geopark Networks, resulting in creation of enormous job opportunities and huge revenue generation through Geo-tourism, leading to a significant rise in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).