Kalimpong, Oct. 21: A Rs 5-crore scheme has been launched by DGHC to set up infrastructure in little known tourist spots near Kalimpong to woo more visitors.
The project for the integrated development of the tourism sites, funded by the central government, had been approved about two years back, but its implementation was delayed by the Subash Ghisingh-headed DGHC dispensation.
Works under the scheme, launched six months ago, are moving at a rapid pace.
The existing facilities in the riverside village of Relli, 8km from here, are being upgraded for Rs 1.27 crore. The additions to the spot are a swimming pool with rooms for changing and an amusement park. Relli already has lodging facilities at Gorkha Hut and a coffee house.
DGHC tourism secretary Sripriya Rangarajan said the existing tourist sites had been selected for the upgrade after carefully studying their potential.
“The Union government had sanctioned the funds to improve the existing facilities as part of the Destination Kalimpong project,” she said over the phone from Darjeeling.
Another major site being developed is the Changey Falls, located about 40km from here, and Rs 3.49 crore has been earmarked for augmenting the infrastructure there.
“We have already released 80 per cent of the funds and works on fencing and illumination are in progress. An angular footpath is also being constructed there,” said the tourism secretary.
At Deolo Hills, about 5km from the town, a musical fountain is being erected for Rs 16 lakh. A popular tourist lodge there is also being given a face-lift with new interiors.
There are plans to carry out river protection work, construct a picnic ghar and a children park in Chitrakut-Tarkhola area near the border with Sikkim.
“The project has not taken off as the forest department is yet to give 2.5 to 3 acres of land,” said Rangarajan.
Once the infrastructure is ready, Chitrakut-Tarkhola and Relli will be promoted as destinations for adventure tourism like paragliding and river-rafting, she said.