Hills soon to get slew of new tourist spots, says Goutam Deb

Gautam deb State Tourism minister
Darjeeling: Darjeeling is all set to get a number of new tourist spots along with the revamping of existing tourist facilities. The new tourist facilities, including a location for destination weddings, is also being developed by the state Tourism department. State Tourism minister Goutam Deb, while on a two day tour of the Darjeeling Hills, stated that a number of key tourism projects are on the anvil. A high-end property will be developed by the Tourism department at Dhotoreah below Rongbul. "It is an abandoned tea garden land. We will reclaim around 25 acres for this project. It is a beautiful flat land which offers a 360 degree view. We will have high-end cottages, a multi-purpose hall where destination weddings can be held, a walk trail and a helipad. We will renovate the 5km long access road to this property," said Deb.

The Darjeeling Tourist Lodge is also being revamped, at a cost of around Rs 25 crore. "6 architects have been shortlisted from 14. They will be redesigning the tourist lodge. They are scheduled to hand in the drawings soon. Tenders will be called once the drawings are finalised," said the minister.

The revamped tourist lodge will boast of a state-of-the-art lobby, rooftop restaurant, bar, a landscaped lawn and more than 40 rooms. The Kurseong Tourist Lodge will also be revamped, with expansion of the property also on the cards. "There is a property below the Kurseong Tourist Lodge, which can be used to expand the existing building. We will renovate the rooms, include a modular kitchen, renovate the restaurant, add a deck and landscape the surrounding areas," Deb said. The 140 year old Botanical garden in Darjeeling is all set to get a major facelift as well. After visiting the garden on Friday morning, the minister stated: "The garden is of immense importance to students, researchers and tourists from all over the world. It has thousands of species of plants, especially of Himalayan origin. The Tourism department and the Forest department will be working together to give it a facelift. A DPR is being prepared." The roads and drains inside the sprawling garden will all be revamped, along with the green house. A new tourist destination point will come up on an acre of land adjoining the garden. In Kalimpong, Hill Top and Morgan House will be revamped, along with a new property that will be built in Delo. In Tiger Hill, Tonglu and Phalut, trekker huts will be built. "These will be tent-type accommodations with semi permanent light construction. At each destination, the cost of construction will be around Rs 8 crore. We are also rebuilding the old British bungalow at Tiger Hill that was torched during the 1986 agitation," said Deb. New properties are also coming up at Mongpu, Jhalong and Chalsa.

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Darjeeling is all set to get a number of new tourist spots along with the revamping of existing tourist facilities. The new tourist facilities, including a location for destination weddings, is also being developed by the state Tourism department. State Tourism minister Goutam Deb,

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