As I drove into this quiet little village of Bhandardara, nestled within the Sahayadri Hills, dotted with sparkling clean lakes, cloud-kissed hills, gurgling waterfalls and lush green meadows this weekend, it was difficult to believe that such a spot existed so close to Mumbai’s concrete jungle. I was booked in this resort managed by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, presenting spectacular views of the hills and the Arthur Lake, which incidentally gets booked months in advance during the monsoons – a time when the region becomes truly breathtaking. I got my booking after waiting for almost a month…but did not stay for long.
That’s because for all its splendour, unfortunately, the excitement ends as soon as you get inside the premises of the resort. The staff is helpful but the resort itself is at best dirty, badly managed and the musty old linen and unkempt room doesn’t inspire confidence, despite the great views from the balcony. I would assume the demand for this place is high only because its reasonably priced and offers the best views. Now Bhandardara is not the only place with such natural beauty that’s been allowed to degenerate. Earlier during January this year, I drove down from Guwahati in Assam to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, close to the China border. It’s got some of the most beautiful sights anywhere in the world. But bad roads and at times no roads for a good part of the drive, makes the experience a little tiresome. The common thread between both these potential tourist money spinners for both the local economy and the government is lack of infrastructure and sound management. And herein lies an opportunity that the government should wrest for itself.
Full report here Economic Times