State Affairs

West Bengal to develop amenity centres to attract tourists

KOLKATA: With more than 14 lakh foreign tourists visiting last year, Bengal is one of the top five foreign destinations in the country.

The state government is making elaborate arrangements to develop its tourism infrastructure, reports The Times of India.

As part of this, the state tourism department will be setting up Tourist Amenity Centres (TAC) within the state as well as along the national highways passing through Bengal to ensure hassle-free journeys for both domestic and foreign travellers.

According to a senior official of West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation Limited (WBTDCL), the centres will be built along the highways, where tourists can comfortably rest and eat.

“Each TAC will have a cafeteria, a medical store and a shop with essential commodities. They will have a separate ramp for people with disabilities, a feeding room for babies and separate toilets for men and women,” said the official. All zones will also have free WiFi and parking space.

Initially, the state government plans to develop seven such centres — four along the Kolkata-Bakkhali route in South 24-Parganas and three along the Kolaghat-Digha route. The department is negotiating with major oil companies to help develop the TACs.

“We have been seeking lands adjacent to the petrol pumps located on the highways for the centres. They will be developed under the public-private partnership model. WBTDCL will take up the development work on a priority basis. Each centre will cost around 1.5 crore,” the official added.

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