West Bengal eyes private participation for tourism project

Ayan Pramanik Kolkata | Updated on May 10, 2013 Published on May 10, 2013

West Bengal expects adequate participation from private companies to develop a Rs 1,500-crore mega tourism project at Gajoldoba in North Bengal.

Located approximately 42 km from Bagdogra airport, the little-known destination on the bank of Teesta river in Jalpaiguri district, Gajoldoba is now frequented by avid birdwatchers.

Vikram Sen, Principal Secretary, Tourism Department, West Bengal, is hopeful of receiving a “good number of bids” for the project, which would be developed on design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis. The last date for submitting the bid documents is June 10.

“We have already spoken to a few domestic and international companies. They have shown interest in the project spread over nearly 203 acres free-hold land,” he told Business Line.

According to Sen, though the State has plenty of places of tourist attraction, the tourism industry in Bengal has always been plagued by lack of proper infrastructure.

“We have been poor in infrastructure development for tourism. Hence, we have identified areas that should be developed and Gajoldoba is the beginning,” he added.

The tourism hub will have premium and budget hotels, health and Ayurvedic spa, catering training school and a golf course spread over about 50 acres. While Gajoldoba already houses a safari park in the Baikunthapur forest, a variety of migratory birds visit the place to the delight of bird lovers, according to Sen.

State Tourism Department has approached the Union Government to introduce night landing at Bagdogra airport. It has also chalked out plans to widen roads connecting Gajoldoba along Siliguri.

Published on May 10, 2013
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