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1 Jun 2018

Delay 'rap' on tourism... mamata to minister: speed up projects

Deb (extreme right) at the review meeting chaired by the chief minister in Kalimpong on Wednesday. Picture by Passang Yolmo
Vivek Chhetri, TT, May 31, 2018, Kalimpong: Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday expressed displeasure at the tardy progress of key tourism projects and asked minister Gautam Deb to oversee them "properly".

The chief minister expressed her views at an administrative review meeting attending by district officials, making it clear that she was focused on improving tourism in north Bengal.

The chief minister asked Deb about the progress of cottages at Tiger Hill and a project at Gajoldoba, near Siliguri.

"What is the status of work at Tiger Hill? Nine cottages were to come up," asked Mamata, adding she was aware of the work on the renovation of a bungalow at the site .

Deb replied that foundation work had been completed at Tiger Hill.

The chief minister wanted the tourism department to start getting things completed.

The chief minister then enquired about Gajoldoba project and was visibly upset with the lack of progress there. "Datelines are being missed, half-done work described as completed. Why should work be given to people who cannot complete work on time?" she asked.

Making a general statement, Mamata said: "Tourism is a very important department. Take care about it. Stress on homestays.... Just don't idle time away." "Look at the tourism works in north Bengal properly," Mamata told Deb.

The chief minister did spent much time focusing on tourism projects not just under the state tourism department but also on the GTA project.

"What is the status at Mirik," she enquired with Mirik municipality chairperson, L.B. Rai.

Rai said that the beautification work on Mirik lake had started but a detailed project report (DPR) was being prepared for the site.

A state official informed the chief minister that a Rs 150-crore project had been finalised which included desilting of the Mirik lake and improving other amenities .

The chief minister also enquired with the GTA principal secretary, Subrata Biswas, on the status of Swiss Cottages at Mirik. "Major work had been completed earlier, other work too should have been completed."

The chief minister also announced that land rights to forest villagers in Kalimpong would be distributed tomorrow.

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