To improve the socio-economic condition of the people in Sundarbans, the state government has adopted a two-way approach by conducting comprehensive skill development programmes among the youth and also developing Sundarbans as one of the most attractive Eco tourism hubs in the country.
As a part of setting up an Eco-tourism hub at Jharkhali area in Sundarbans and the overall development in the area, all the Islands in the Sundarbans would soon be connected with each other for which the state government has to bear a cost of around Rs 400 crore. The work is underway.
The main purpose of the project is to promote Sundarbans as one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the country.
Various state government departments like tourism, Sundarbans Affairs department are working in coordination to provide world class facilities, thereby attracting the foreign tourists.
The Eco-tourism hub would have five-star resorts, budget hotels, cottages, swimming pools, lake, club house, among others. It would be constructed under the Public-Private Partnership model.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, during her visit to Sundarbans a few months ago, announced that the Eco tourism hub would be constructed at Jharkhali.
She had also announced that the first ever zoo in the world’s largest delta on a 100 acre plot there.
The Chief Minister had laid great stress in conservation of the endangered flora and fauna in the region.
To augment infrastructure, the government is allotting around Rs 90 crore to build roads and bridges in Jharkhali, the Chief Minister had announced in her last visit.
According to a senior official of the Sundarbans Affairs department, the state government is aggressively pursuing a project for connecting all islands in Sundarbans which did not happen before.
Around 104 islands are there in the Sundarbans, among which half are inhibited by the people while the rest are forest areas. Around 50 lakh people live there.
The government has been chalking out plans on how alternative employments could be created and for this various training programmes have been started for the unemployed youth.
For example, hospitality management courses are being run by the government in the last 12 months so that the educated but unemployed youth can be trained.
Three courses on plumbing and for electricians have already started at various blocks including Kakdwip, Canning I and II in South 24 Parganas and Hasnabad in North 24 Parganas.
It was learnt that many other trainings will be started soon to provide trainings to the youth.
Hospitality management has been given a priority with the boom in the retail sector. As a result of this, the youth after being trained from these centers, can find jobs at various companies. In small towns, the boys are getting employment after going through the skill development programmes.
The government has tied up with several skill development partners accredited by the National Skill Development Council.