Concept paper on Lake Tourism in the district of Dakshin Dinajpur
Introduction : Lake-like huge ponds locally called “dighi” with vast water area are found in abundance in this district. Tapandighi (85.30 Acre), Kadmadighi (39.68 Acre), Mahipaldighi (61.16), Pransagardighi (45.58 Acre), Maliandighi (80.48 Acre), Gourdighi (58.09 Acre)….. are some of such water bodies where presently no other economic activity except pisciculture through traditional modes is done here. Some of the water bodies do not require any re-excavation or cleaning but some others require these jobs in major scale for which convergence with MGNREGS is an available option at the disposal of district authority.
All such water bodies are vested to the Government and leased out to different fish farming co-operatives on annual / biannual basis.
Potentials : Most of these water bodies have wide embankments on all the sides. Though some of the sides are occupied by squatters for a pretty long time, a huge chunk of area for each such pond is available for construction of tourist shelter, cottage facilities for the tourist. The water area needs to be maintained in a very clean environment and all the water-hyacinth and garbages have to be removed so that the entire water area can be utilized for (a) angling (b) boating (c) rowing (d) aquas’ sports on the water and Tennis Court, other sports facilities on the embankment and at the same time pisciculture through improved methods / technology can also be done.
Development Strategy : This is not going to be just a one time investment. It is necessary to keep the water bodies clean for a continuous period. Moreover the cost involved for these projects would be much on the higher side every year. Unless the entire cost is raised from the tourist, these projects can not be self-sustaining. It is therefore necessary to find out a suitable private partner who can venture for making such huge investments where mostly high-end tourist can avail the facilities for their leisure time. Once a particular water bodies is developed in this fashion other water body located in at distance between 30kms – 40kms can also be developed one by one by the some or the other private partners in course of time and a cluster of such tourist destination can finally motivate the private investors to pour-in their fund in this purpose.
Conclusion : The project report individually sent along with the district plan was just an indicative plan to set up a certain infrastructure for the day tourists or tourists belonging to economy group for their day care centre etc. But these projects need detailed study by experts groups for preparing detailed project report for execution of scheme which can be presentable to the tourists.
Sri Durgadas Goswami, I.A.S
District Magistrate,Dakshin Dinajpur, Balurghat