West Bengal government has identified 11 sites for major tourism infrastructure development with the active help of private sector across the state. According to Uma Pada Chatterjee, Director, West Bengal Tourism, the state government will create the basic infrastructure like roads, electricity, drinking water, etc. in all these identified sites to attract private investors to invest in tourism facilities like hotels, restaurants, and other facilities on a PPP model. Instead of viability gap funding (VGF) which is practiced in many states, the West Bengal government will be investing on creation of “critical infrastructure” to lure private investors, he said.
Elaborating few of the key destinations identified for tourism development, Chatterjee said that Gajoldoba, Jharkhali, Western banks of Hoogly, etc. are being taken up on a priority basis by the government. He said that the objective is to showcase the State on its entirety rather than confining the contour to few places like Sunderbans, Darjeeling, and Shantiniketan. The government has identified 207 acres of land in Gajoldoba in Jaipalguri, which is the gateway to the Doars, to be promoted as a major tourism destination. The government has earmarked Rs 120 cr for various projects of destination development, comprising road widening, electricity, water connections, etc. The tourism department itself will be spending Rs 7 cr., to set up tourist cottages and Rs two crore for building youth hostel. The Director – Tourism said that private investors will be invited to invest in hi-end resorts and budget hotels and a hotel management institute in Gajoldoba soon.
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