Even as Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the much-awaited lamping festival Eco Retreat at seven exotic destinations, poor facilities at many places has left the host in an embarrassing situation.
According to sources, services at two eco retreat locations are yet to start four days after the formal inauguration owing to incomplete works while poor tents, bed and toilet facilities in the high-cost tents have left some visitors livid.
Due to the poor services, many tourists are reportedly cancelling their bookings while some venues recorded zero booking.
Sources said the installation of tents are still to complete in Pati Sonapur in Ganjam and Koraput (Putsil-Deomali Base) eco retreat venue.
“The floor of the tents are not good. Chairs and beds in the tents should be of high quality given the high rent of the tents. Improvements are needed in toilet and other facilities too,” said a tourist, Padarbinda Mishra at Koraput.
“The government faces criticism for the negligence of a handful of officials and this year’s eco retreat is a burning example of that. When I entered the tent, there was no electricity and the geyser was not working while room heater was missing. Only four items were available for food,” said Subranasu Panda, a tourist at Konark.
After officials of the tourism department came across the shortcomings, the private firm Sunset Desert Camp has been asked to undertake immediate correctional measures and complete the works at the earliest.
“This is to inform you that site visits by officers of this Department and the District Administrations to Eco Retreat Pati-Sonapur and Eco Retreat Koraput (Putsil-Deomali Base) have revealed that the material mobilisation at these sites is yet to be completed,” Tourism director wrote to Sunset Desert Camp.
However, the owner of the private firm denied using low quality materials in the tents. “Works are underway and we have not used low quality products. I have no knowledge of cancellation of bookings,” claimed Sarvan Singh Ranaut, owner of Sunset Desert Camp.