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State Govt involving locals to preserve Fossil Park in Ilambazar

State Govt involving locals to preserve Fossil Park in Ilambazar

Kolkata, Nov 11 (UNI) The Ammkhoi Fossil Park in Ilambazar in Birbhum district, Bengal’s only fossil park, is gradually becoming a very popular tourist spot.

Now, the Forest Department of the State Government has taken measures to involve local people to enable them to have a stable source of income as well as preserve the fossils in a more systematic manner. The fossils found there are mostly plant fossils – fossilised wood of ancient trees, about 1.5 crore years old, which have been dug up. More and more of these are now being preserved and displayed in a tourist-friendly manner.

The 10-hectare park, spread over villages like Ammkhoi, Jambuni and a few others in the forests of Ilambazar, is being maintained by the female members of 10 local self-help groups (SHG). The people of these villages

are Adivasis, who are backward, and hence, this source of income is most welcome.

Two artists have also been employed by the Forest Department to decorate the park and make it more attractive.

Fossilised wood has been found in a few other places in the state too, like Ausgram in Purba Bardhaman district, Sonamukhi in Bankura district, Garbeta in Paschim Medinipur district, but none are as extensive as the site in Birbhum.

In fact, this is the largest such site in the whole of eastern India.

UNI SJC KK

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