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July 9, 2015

State Eco-tourism Board to set up trail link to Jambudweep, homestays in Sundarbans

State Eco-tourism Board to set up trail link to Jambudweep, homestays in Sundarbans

The Eco-tourism Advisory Board held its first meeting at Nabanna on Wednesday . The board gave the go ahead to the proposed eco trail link between Bakkhali and Jambudweep. The Gangasagar Bakkhali Development Authority (GBDA) has been asked to submit a feasibility report within a week.

The project details will be worked out in consultation with the forest department. The urban development department has already come up with some preliminary proposals like setting up an Interpretation Centre, a few tent-camps and a guided photography trail for nature enthusiasts.

There is also a proposal to introduce a proper river transport by developing a route between Bakkhali and Jambudweep, somewhere near the fishing harbour point at Edward Creek.

A jetty has also been proposed to be constructed at the northeastern shore of Jambudweep along with the nature interpretation centre.Officials said that, at present, no tourist is allowed to step into Jambudweep.

The eco-tourism board was constituted by the West Bengal Government last year for developing new eco tourist spots. It was during the West Bengal Chief Minister’slast visit to Gangasagar in October last year that she had expressed her desire to develop an ecotourism circuit between Bakkhali, Jambudweep and Gangasagar.

The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) has also prepared a Rs 300crore plan for developing Gangasagar. The plan includes promotion of three virgin beaches in the area without affecting the eco-system. It has been submitted to the ministry of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation to be considered for implementation under the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) scheme.

Plans are being made to introduce homestay tourism in 23 villages of Sundarban too. Samshernagar in Hingalganj, Koikhali in Kultali, and Nafarganj in Basanti have been selected initially for the purpose.