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November 1, 2014

Industry captains laud WB CM`s tourism initiative at Sagar Islands

Industry captains laud WB CM`s tourism initiative at Sagar Islands

Mamata Banerjee visited Sagar Island along with a team of industrialists on October 30 to boost the tourism in that region.

The group of industry captains, who visited Sagar Island along with her, feels that it has the potential for both leisure and spiritual tourism.

First mover advantage

Keventer Agro Ltd, which has a presence in the restaurant business, is already planning a joint venture with a city-based realtor. Mayank Jalan, managing director of the company said, “Whoever starts now, will have a first mover advantage there. We have already spoken to the CM and are waiting for the government to respond.” Located about 100 km south of Kolkata, Sagar Island is on the Bay of Bengal. Known for its importance as a destination for spiritual tourism, Gangasagar draws millions of devotees during makar-sankranti.

“But tourism can actually be extended beyond pilgrimage in the area.It is difficult to find such a beautiful long beach anywhere nearby,” said Sanjay Agarwal, managing director of Century Plyboards and president of MCC Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “The waves are not very choppy .Neither are they calm. That makes a perfect spot for adventure sports,” Agarwal said.

WB CM at Sagar Islands

Huge potential

Kolkata-based Sumit Dabriwala feels that with the state government taking initiative, it has opened up 'massive opportunity'. “There are a few issues regarding transport, power and sewerage, which the government is trying to address. Rest is left to the private investors,” he said. The Centre has approved Rs 500 crore for the face-lift project for Gangasagar under the National Ganga River Basin Authority . While the Center will provide 70% of funds, state will provide the rest.

Luxury travel opportunities

According to Vijay Dewan, MD, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels Ltd, there is an opportunity to create a destination resort for luxury travel and an economy hotel for pilgrimage tourism. The group will soon do a feasibility study regarding investment there.”The government is committed to provide full support for development of this area,” Dewan said.

According to Dabriwala, the state is also looking at the possibility of starting a sea-plane and chopper service. “With sea-planes you can bring down travel time to 30 minutes,” he said.

According to Jalan, the ease of accessibility is one of the key points to make a destination popular.

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