Digha state tourism project still stuck

  • The Statesman
  • 23 Jun 2014

The eco-friendly project would benefit local craftsmen

Biswabrata Goswami
biswabrata@thestatesman.net
Tamluk, 22 June
The much-hyped Village Tourism project around Digha, promoted by the State Tourism Department last year, is still in limbo.
Apart from some minor works nothing has been done to take up the dream project.  “When it comes to tradition, heritage and topography Digha stands unique among other sea resorts in West Bengal and these features were expected to get a boost with the implementation of the project.
Unfortunately, the project has not yet started,” said Mr Bipradas Chakraborty, secretary of Digha Hoteliers’ Association. The Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the State Tourism Department had directed the local administration and Digha Sankarpur Development Authority (DSDA) to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for a Village Tourism project surrounding Digha last year.
The purpose is to set up eco-friendly Rural Tourism clusters in coastal villages of Ramnagar-I block surrounding Digha under the PPP model. These clusters will have tents and small mud cottages with roofs of straw. Modern amenities, including western toilets and showers, will be a bonus for these huts. Since the area falls within the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), no concrete construction will be permitted there. The Rs 25 crore project envisages developing places like Jagadishpur,
Khadalgora, Dahadoya, Maitrapur, Haropur, Gobindabasan and Alankarpur in Padima-I and II gram panchayat areas. Tourists can experience authentic village culture, watch local craftsmen and women make conch shells, wall-hangings, lampshades and bangles from seashells; enjoy the beauty of ‘Jhau’ or tamarisk forests and beaches.
As per the proposed project, the DSDA was asked to build a seven-km road connecting Digha and Sankarpur, reducing the distance between the two spots for tourists who now have to take a 20 km roundabout route. Mud huts with modern amenities will come up on either side of the road. A crocodile park along this route was also planned.
“But, the dream project is yet to get off. If the project is implemented, thousands of conch shell artisans and traders will be benefited”, said Mr Sibu Nandi, a conch shell artisan in Padima. Mr Sujan Dutta, CEO, DSDA said, “The project has not yet been started due to the recently held Lok Sabha polls. But, it is now the time to revise the project again and the required DPR would soon be prepared”.

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