The West Bengal Tourism Department has decided to associate with the Public Works and Forest departments in order to modernize and expand infrastructural facilities and give a boost to tourism in the State.
While the PWD will construct more than 100 ‘Pather Sathis’ (attractive motels) alongside almost all the national and state highways across the state at a cost of more than Rs 20 crore, all forest ‘rest houses’ will be upgraded with essential gadgets like air-conditioners, LED television sets, geysers and refrigerators.
Motels facilitating pleasant connectivity to tourist spots would be handed over to the Tourism department by the PWD on completion for maintenance and formation of joint ventures wherever possible for quick recovery of costs.
Revenues earned by the Forest department would be shared by all stakeholders, including private partners, who would promote sales and guarantee upkeep of the facilities for weekend travelers.
Yet another novel method of attracting travelers– both domestic and foreign, would be the arrangement of short ‘home-stays’ deep inside forests with picturesque surroundings.
Promoted through enterprising ‘Forest Protection Committee’ members, these cosy nooks mostly in North Bengal, Dooars and Darjeeling (in places like Tagda, Chimney and Pokriata) would give private entrepreneurs, especially tea garden owners, a run for their money.
However, the most frequented facilities like Mirik, Jaldapara, Gorumara, Holong, Digha and Gangasagar will not be given lesser importance.