Eco-tourism resort with adventure sports coming up

Kolkata: The quiet woods of Birbhum district in West Bengal will soon host a new eco-tourism project where tourists can stay in a solar-powered tent, sway to the beats of Santhali music, feast on barbeque-cooked organic food and enjoy the thrill of a horse ride.

To be launched ahead of the Durga Puja vacation in October by city-based entertainment major Priya Entertainments Pvt Ltd (PEPL), this will be the first of its kind eco-tourism project with focus on adventure in the state.

PEPL`s managing director Arijit Dutta told PTI that for the project they have bought a plot of around 130 bighas near Santiniketan, about 250 km away from Kolkata. To be powered fully by solar energy, the resort will offer 40-45 luxury tent accommodation with tariff varying between Rs 2,000 and 5,000 per night. However, there will be a limited number of low-cost accommodation facilities for students and nature club members.

Being built at a cost of Rs nine crore, the resort will be offering barbeque-cooked food, fishing, bonfire in wintry nights and local cultural festivities including tribal music performances.

Minimising the chance to damage to the environment, all organic waste generated from the project will be used as manure and the farmland, spread over 45 bighas, will supply organic food to tourists.

"We are also studying the possibility of introducing gobar (cow dung) gas for cooking food," Dutta, who runs a number of theatres and a multiplex, said adding they are investing around Rs nine crore in the project. To provide the tourists with the thrill of adventure sports, they are buying four horses which will run inside a small track specially built for the purpose.

The local tribal population will not be left out of the project, which also aims at community development. "There are two small villages near the plot with a total population of around 100 people. We are training them now as we will employ all of them in various capacities. We will also ensure food and education for their children," Dutta said. The company is also planning another resort in Dooars in north Bengal.