Patha Sathi flying high with motels in 23 districts
Kolkata: The Patha Sathi project, an initiative of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to set up motels along the state and National Highways, has yielded desired results. The motels have come up in all the 23 districts of Bengal.
After coming to power in 2011, Mamata Banerjee took an initiative to construct motels along state and national highways. The motels have toilets and rooms where people can take rest and have their breakfast and dinner. The motels are run by women belonging to Self-Help-Groups (SHGs).
As Banerjee used to visit the districts as a leader of Opposition ever since she founded Trinamool Congress in 1998, she found that because of lack of toilets, those who travel on state and national highways, particularly women, face problems.
In those days, petrol pumps along the highways did not have toilets. After coming to power, she entrusted the state Public Works department (PWD) to set up the motels. There are air-conditioned and non air-conditioned rooms.
Breakfast and dinner are prepared and served by women. The project has yielded great success. The rooms are spacious and have attached toilets. The linen, cots and furniture have been procured by the state Housing department.
After upgradation of state and national highways, more and more people are visiting different places in cars. Resorts have come up in remote areas and during holidays, people visit them by road. As the number of people driving on highways has gone up, the necessity of motels where they can have brief stay and where food is available along with clean toilets, is being felt.
In Alipurduar, there are motels at Holong, Jaldapara, South Kharibari, Jayanti, Bhutanghat and Phuentsholing. The motels are booked almost throughout the year. There are six non AC rooms in each.
In Bankura, there are motels in Susunia, Bankura Town, Chhatna, Bishnupur and Mukutmanipur. There is one non AC and three AC rooms.
In Birbhum, motels have come up at Illambazar, Joydeb, and Suri. In Jhargram, East and West Midnapore and East and west Burdwan, the motels are in high demand.
The motels have helped the women who have formed SHGs, to become financially self-reliant. The state Housing department has plans to set up more such motels in future.