State to rope in pvt firms for maintenance & operation of Pathasathis

kolkata: The state Tourism department is seeking private parties for operation and maintenance of the Pathasathis (roadside motels) across the state. The Request for Proposal (RFP) has already been floated by West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation Limited (WBTDCL).

"We believe that the Pathasathi units, punctuated along highways in the state at vulnerable locations covering each and every district, with their allied amenities and perceived further activities, are envisaged to have enough potential to be run viably with the patronage from road commuters and travelling tourists. Presently, the footfall at the Pathasathis is on the rise as all state government and private vehicles too are stopping at these places. We are seeking renowned private players with good experience in the hospitality sector for management and maintenance," a senior official of WBTDCL said.

70 such units have been identified for being operated and maintained by private parties, replacing the SHGs, under overall supervision of WBTDCL and control of district administration. Repair and renovation with proper branding and signage development will be undertaken to make the units attractive for potential customers.

The scope of work includes clean and hygienic toilets to be used by travelers and tourists, against no cost, clean and hygienic kitchen and restaurant with facility of freshly cooked food following statutory regulations such as FSSAI licence, a sales counter for essential travel items such as bottled drinking water, snacks etc, keeping the premises well-guarded and ensure safety of travelers and uploading daily feedback on the online monitoring module of Tourism Department.

The parties will provide 10 per cent of available space within the premises to the Tourism Department for allotment to SHGs/MSME /Benfish/others for sale counters, which is expected to improve the attractiveness of the property.

Talks have already been initiated with the Animal Resources Development department for selling their products. "The Tourism department will work on linking the Pathasathis with the overall tourism plan and circuit so that persons visiting them will get a feel of Bengal tourism places and destinations and can get facilities for booking etc. and also facilitation of visiting nearby tourist attractions," the official added. The Tourism department app has been developed in a manner so that a traveler can easily reach the Pathasathi. The units will operate under close control of district magistrate with overall supervision of WBTDCL.

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