Tourist rush in Sagar Island round the year, thanks to Bengal govt
Kolkata: With massive development in Sagar Island infrastructure in the past six years, the flow of tourists round the year has gone up considerably.
A few years ago, it was only during Ganga Sagar Mela that lakhs of people visited the place. But the development undertaken by the Mamata Banerjee government has now started attracting tourists round the year.
According to local shop owners and traders, thousands of people visit the place every day during months other than January, which is when the mela is held. This has helped the economy of the region to develop. Round-the-clock power supply and improvement in transport facilities in the past six years has ensured consistent flow of tourists to Sagar Island.
"This government has made such projects for development possible which people of the island had never thought of earlier," said Manoj Nayak, a local resident. Huge concrete shelters have been constructed near Kapil Muni Mandir where pilgrims can rest.
It may be mentioned that South 24-Parganas is an Open Defecation Free (ODF) district now. So equal importance has been given on keeping the mela premises neat and clean. There are round-the-clock workers to ensure that the mela premises remain clean throughout the day. Moreover, safety and security has also been made a priority. Besides making necessary arrangements for proper illumination by setting up towers to install high mast lights, initiatives have also been taken for security of the coastal area.
Ganga Sagar coastal police station has been set up and this is the first time that pilgrims will see policemen patrolling the beach on four-wheel ATV bikes.
Ansur Ali Khan, a constable, was found riding one such vehicle. Two ATV bikes have been bought to patrol on the beach.
The bikes were introduced just 20 days ago and a batch of policemen of different ranks underwent training regarding its operation. They would ensure no bike racing or any other illegal activities take place on the beach during the mela and the days after.
Satrugan Nayak, who owns a shop near the beach, said "Earlier I used to set up shop only during the mela. Now, with the increase in number of tourists round the year, I set up the shop every day and the turnover at the end of a day is not bad."
In a bid to improve connectivity, a decision has been taken to widen a stretch of the road connecting Kachuberia transit point and the beach. Work is underway and the stretch close to the transit point has already been widened.
Cottages for accommodation of tourists have also been constructed and a project to set up more cottages has also been taken up.