Thursday, December 2

Suman Monotosh Digha Bakkhali

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 Digha in East Midnapore and Bakkhali-Frasergunj in South 24 Parganas are overflowing with tourists during this weekend of extended puja holidays. For the first time in the last two years, hotels, holiday homes and guest houses are refusing tourists as occupancy has reached 100 percent.
After staying indoors for over a year, tourists started hitting these popular tourist destinations with a vengeance. However, this weekend turned out to be a tourism bonanza for hoteliers and tour operators at Digha and Bakkhali. “After spending the Pujas at home, people have come straight to Digha, Shankarpur and Tajpur armed with vaccination reports or Covid negative reports. This is great news for our business,” said an elated Biprodas Chatterjee, joint secretary, Digha Hoteliers’ Association.
Tapan Biswas from Behala said, “I had made an advance booking, sensing a rush. We did pandal hopping till Navami and headed straight to Digha. We will return on Monday.” However, most of the tourists have complained of connectivity issues. The internet speed is very slow. “We cannot share our photographs and videos with our loved ones back home,” he added.

Sources said that torrential rain and breaching of embankment of Keleghai river have led to power disruption in 48 towers. The supply of power to the towers was resumed with the help of gensets. But the problem has persisted, said a mobile company official. However, East Midnapore Mobile Tower Employees Union leader and Patashpur MLA Uttam Barik said, “I am not aware of the development but will certainly look into it.”

At Bakkhali-Frasergunj, similar overcrowding could be witnessed. Tourists started coming in hoards after Dashami. “In fact we had to refuse tourists as all our rooms got booked. But understanding the financial stress of common people due to the pandemic, we didn’t revise our tariffs. We are charging what we used to charge two years ago as we want a revival of tourism throughout the year,” said Biswajit Mondal, a hotel owner.
Mousuni Island and Pakhiralay witnessed the maximum tourist influx. However, the adverse weather system has left many worried. “We are facing the fury of nature too frequently. If there is a cyclone now, an inundation follows. We are praying that nature gets a bit pacified so that we can survive,” said Amirul Midday, secretary, Boat Operators’ Association. Boat Operators take tourists around the sea and parts of the Sunderbans where tourism is allowed.

Source: Times of India

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