Those planning a holiday to Bengal’s coastal areas will soon have the option of clubbing two or more beach destinations in the same vacation. In six months, when the Digha-Mandarmani Marine Drive, formally christened Saikat Sarani, is opened, visitors will be able to access four popular coastal spots — Digha, Sankarpur, Tajpur and Mandarmoni — with ease. Moreover, the distance between Digha and Mandarmani will be shortened by about 12km.
Most tourists target only one of four destinations during a visit because the present connector between Digha and Mandarmoni is a roundabout route along NH-116B. Tourists travelling by bus from Digha have to get off at Chaulkhola and board smaller vehicles like autos and Totos that take them along a 10km road to Mandarmani. Sankarpur and Tajpur lie between Digha and Mandarmani.
A brainchild of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the Rs 182 crore project was announced in 2014 but could not be completed as “work on three connecting bridges along the marine drive was stalled owing to technical problems.” While one of these proposed bridges is to be built at Nayakali Mandir, about 5km from Digha, another spot lies at Jalda near Mandarmani and another is at Saulat located at the Mandarmani end of the 29km marine drive stretch. Staterun Mackintosh Burn is executing the project.
During an administrative meeting for East Midnapore district on July 12, 2017, the CM had expressed displeasure over the delay in execution of the project. She had asked Digha Sankarpur Development Authority (DSDA) chairman and Contai Trinamool MP Sisir Adhikary to explain why work on the project had not been completed. Adhikary had attributed the delay to technical reasons.
Bipradas Chatterjee of Digha Hoteliers’ Association said, “The marine drive will make Digha, Sankarpur, Tajpur and Mandarmani more attractive to visitors who will have an opportunity for a scenic long drive along the coastline.”
Source: Times of India