Several new facilities for tourists are coming up at 10 Mile in Frazerganj and in Henry’s Island, including resorts, watchtowers and cafeterias. The Fisheries Department’s State Fisheries Development Corporation (SFDC), which is developing the facilities, has divided the tourism facilities in Henry’s Island into two areas – Sundari and Mangrove.
Form Sundari, the beach is five-minute walking distance, and it is about 1 km from the Mangrove tourist centre. The 1 km route is a scenic, including being lined with fish cultivation ponds (bheris) and is a major attraction, according to departmental official.
At Mangrove, to the nine cottages, three more have been added, as well as a four-person dormitory. At the Sundari centre, there were three cottages named Sundari, Hetal and Garan. Four more have been built for the winter tourist season onwards, named Sundari (New), Mudhouse, Mrignayana and Lake View. A total of 11 cottages are being built.
At 10 Mile in Frazerganj, a cafeteria has been built and a watchtower for watching the lakhs of little red crabs that crowd the beach without being a hindrance to them, which would be the case if too many people walked on the beach all the time.
Meanwhile, the State Government is setting up international-level tourism facilities at Gobardhanpur in Patharpratima block in South 24 Parganas district. On the instruction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has recognised the tourism potential of the place, the district authority has prepared a detailed project report (DPR).
The beach in Gobardhanpur would be opened up to tourists towards the end of December. The virgin beach is expected to be a big attraction for tourists. To ensure that the beach is not needlessly trampled upon, several facilities are in the pipeline.
Elevated platforms, watchtowers and long wooden balconies would ensure that. Also, paths along the streams and through the small patches of forests would be bordered with railings to ensure people stay on the paths and do not disturb the fragile the environment.
Besides these, cottages with all modern facilities, food court and sun bathing areas would be set up too. The full project would take a few months to complete and would cost Rs 5 to 6 crore. In the future, facilities would be set up for people to visit, from there, places deeper and further in the Sundarbans like Kalas Island, Bani Camp, Chulkati, Bhagatpur Crocodile Project, Bakkhali, Henry’s Island and Sagar Island.
The State Government will also issue as many as 1,700 boat licence certificates (BLC) to fishermen in the Sundarbans, allowing them the privilege to venture into the rivers for catching fishes and crabs.
A majority of the people inhabiting the mangrove forest are dependent on fishing and catching crabs for their livelihood.
As per records of the state government, there are a total of 4,700 BLCs issued to the fishermen.
The State Forest Minister said that the government wants needy and poor fishermen to reap the benefits of BLC. The government would remain strict like always regarding the carrying out of fishing activities in accordance with the rules.
The Insides Speak.