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October 30, 2014

WB CM visits Sagar Islands with a team of industrialists to boost tourism

WB CM visits Sagar Islands with a team of industrialists to boost tourism
The State government is focusing attention on developing tourism in and around the Sagar Islands and trying to promote the destination as the biggest tourism hub in eastern India. The decision to do so was taken after the discovery of a number of virgin islands near Sagar Islands.
Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee has undertaken a business trip to the islands, accompanied by a number of industrialists, with the aim of seeking investment in tourism and infrastructure development.
The government will also project the deep sea port off Sagar Island as an investment destination. The Chief Minister's business meet, is, of course, preceded by a series of meetings, trekking and exploration by senior government officers of places and entire routes that she is planning to showcase to the investors accompanying her on the trip.
Exploring tourism potential
Though the trip primarily aims at seeking investment, the Chief Minister wants to project that the islands can, with a little help, be transformed into a tourism hub of international standard that could offer globe-trotters an exciting bouquet of travel experience: sun-baked virgin beaches, river and sea cruises, stays in tents and on yachts, adventure sports and, of course, the Sundarbans, the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world, home to the Bengal Tiger. The Gangetic delta of the Sunderbans also offers spectacular views.
The government plans to offer a common booking system for all available facilities through a single portal. The grand plan was preceded by painstaking research and recces along the route by senior officials, such as the transport secretary, tourism secretary, director general of coastal security and district magistrates. This was essential to fix the nitty-gritty of the plan.
Water inland transport
The Sagar Island, which is one of the state's biggest and most important pilgrimage spots, hosts one of the biggest annual congregation of pilgrims: the Sagar Mela. Significantly, the tourism hub can grow without affecting or encroaching upon the mela, thanks to new areas we have stumbled upon.
To put maximum emphasis on the water-inland transportation, the government has set up a task force headed by water inland transport director to explore the possibilities in sea and river tourism.
The coastal region also offers innumerable creeks and rivulets to explore. Once the plan gets approved, it will be included in the proposed tourism circuit project that the state government has planned on a 500km stretch from Jangalmahal to the Sagar Islands. The tourism department has submitted a detailed report to the Centre for the proposed project to be approved and funded.
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