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25 Jun 2018

3-star comfort at N Bengal lodges

Morgan House in Kalimpong, which will be renovated 
BIRESWAR BANERJEE, TT, Jun 25, 2018, Siliguri: The Bengal government has decided to upgrade facilities at tourist lodges in north Bengal before the Durga Puja to offer three-star facilities, tourism minister Gautam Deb announced in Siliguri on Sunday.

Facilities such as parks, multi-cuisine restaurants, 24-hour room service and Wi-Fi connectivity will be available at the 25 tourist lodges in north Bengal and the portion of south Bengal between Alipurduar and Behrampore in Murshidabad. These lodges have a total of around 1,000 rooms.

The upgrade and renovation will be done between July and September, during which fresh bookings will not be accepted, Deb said.
Landscaping will be done on the premises of the tourist lodges and kitchen gardens developed. Local folk groups will be hired for live performances in the evenings.

"We have an elaborate plan to revamp our properties across Bengal in the next three months. This will be done to provide better accommodation and proper services to tourists.... The department will spend around Rs 70 crore on the project," Deb said.

On Sunday, the minister held a meeting in Siliguri with officials of the tourism department and some technical experts who will advise those implementing the project.

According to Deb, some of the major work to be taken up in the Darjeeling hills over the next three months include re-building the Darjeeling Tourist Lodge, constructing eco-friendly cottages at the Tiger Hill and renovating Morgan House and Hill Top Tourist Lodge in Kalimpong.

The tourism department has also planned to set up a lodge at Deolo in Kalimpong on a 10-acre plot.

"Work for a multipurpose convention centre with accommodation facilities is in progress at Bagdogra. The budget is Rs 80 crore," Deb said.

"We have identified 89 trekking routes in the hills and plains of north Bengal. These will be highlighted soon to encourage adventure sports, especially trekking. Three trekkers' huts will come up at Sandakphu, Tonglu and Phalut in the Darjeeling hills and two day-care centres at Bhutanghat and Chilapata in the Dooars," Deb said.

The tourism department is also planning to develop infrastructure in consultation with the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration at Lamahatta and Takdah.

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