DARJEELING: In a protest against the West Bengal government’s move to construct a tourist lodge at the Darjeeling’s Tiger Hill, the stakeholders on Wednesday claimed that the project will disturb the natural beauty of the tourist spot.
“Tourists visit Tiger Hill to see the sunrise and early morning rays get reflected on Mount Kanchenjungha. But this natural beauty is under threat now as the state tourism department has started the construction of a lodge on forest land at Tiger Hill,” Pradip Lama, the secretary of the Darjeeling Association of Travel Agents (DATA), said.
“Our CM (Mamata Banerjee) has been misguided by some of her officers. She wants development of tourism in the hill area, but not at the cost of environment,” Lama added.
The association is also concerned that the construction at Tiger Hill will have a long term effect on the water supply to Darjeeling town.
“The three Sinchal lakes are the main sources of potable water for Darjeeling and surrounding areas,” DATA said.
Meanwhile, a Darjeeling-based NGO has alleged that the project is being carried out in the wildlife sanctuary, it would adversely affect many endangered flora and fauna of the area.
However, the state government has not only turned deaf ear to the issue but also have dismissed reports that the project had been launched without necessary clearances.
“All necessary permissions had been obtained for the project,” Sunil Agarwal, Joint Director (Tourism) of north Bengal, said.
The state tourism minister Goutam Dev too has come out in support of the ongoing construction at the Tiger Hill.
“There would be no harm on environment of tiger hill and the government is fully aware of this,” Dev assured.
Via: Times of India
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