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Talks Underway to Restore, Manage Badab-e-Soort
Talks Underway to Restore, Manage Badab-e-Soort

Talks Underway to Restore, Manage Badab-e-Soort

Restoring the site and empowering the locals are key parts of a restoration scheme to develop tourism in Mazandaran
Carelessness on the part of officials and tourists has caused considerable damage to Badab-e-Soort

Talks Underway to Restore, Manage Badab-e-Soort

The Touring and Automobile Club of Iran is close to signing a deal with provincial tourism and natural resources officials for taking over the management of Badab-e-Soort Natural Springs in Mazandaran Province.
According to Ebad Reza Eslami, director of Tourism and Handicrafts Office at the club, a comprehensive investment plan has been prepared and submitted to the Forests, Range and Watershed Management Organization for review.
"Once they approve our proposal, we'll sign the deal within a month," he told Mehr News Agency.
The organization has to ensure the investment plan is eco-friendly. Covering some 30 hectares, the natural site comprises a range of stepped travertine terrace formations created over thousands of years, as water flowing from two mineral hot springs cool and deposit carbonate minerals on the mountainside.
Carelessness on the part of officials and tourists has caused considerable damage to the site and the environment, flattening the stepped terraces and polluting what little water still flows from the springs, forcing authorities in the provincial capital Sari to place a ban all visits to Badab-e-Soort in September 2015.
The ban was lifted in April, but locals and activists say it was done too early as the site is far from restored.

  Keeping the Theme
Restoring the site and empowering the locals are key parts of the club's scheme to develop tourism in the region, according to Eslami, who did not mention the amount of investment they intend to make in the plan.
"Foreign experts will be hired to restore the damaged springs and waterfronts," he said.
Lamenting the gradual destruction of old houses in Orost Village (where the site is located) in favor of more modern structures, he emphasized TACI's intention to preserve the authenticity of the area by providing financial support to local homeowners to restore their traditional houses and prepare them to host tourists.
"It's a shame that the region's beautiful old houses are being torn down to erect modern buildings," Eslami said.
To help empower locals and create jobs, the club intends to create a five-hectare farmland in the village to produce organically-grown crops for local diners and teahouses.
"Helping local artisans is also on the agenda," he added.  
"Initial studies show that Badab-e-Soort's water seems to be rich in minerals, but whether it is clean enough to be invested in depends on further analysis," Eslami said.
Inscribed in 2008 on the National Heritage List, Badab-e-Soort is only one of two natural sites to make it on the list, with the other being Mount Damavand, also in Mazandaran Province.

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