Suresh Paswan (centre) cuts the ceremonial ribbon at Hundru in Ranchi on Friday. Telegraph picture
State tourism minister Suresh Paswan opened a visitors’ complex near scenic Hundru Falls, 50km from Ranchi, for the public on Friday, five years after it was set up in 2008.
“There are over 30 tourists complexes in Jharkhand lying idle, which will be opened without delay. Jharkhand has no dearth of attractive sites. Tourist hubs have great business potential, the benefits of which will percolate to local residents and economy,” the minister said.
But the problems that dodged tourist complex Madhulika Vihar, built in 2008 near Hundru Falls, and others like it, are perhaps best known to senior bureaucrats such as Sunil Kumar, managing director of Jharkhand state tourism development corporation, or Siddharth Tripathy, state tourism director, present at the Friday event.
The department had not found a suitable operator for the Hundru complex for five years.
“The complex, if not used, will be ruined. That’s why we finally decided to hand it over to an operator from Ranchi who will also maintain it,” state tourism director Siddharth Tripathy said.
He added initially the restaurant would be run. “Rooms will be offered to tourists in next three months,” he said.
Restaurant apart, the complex has 10 rooms and two conference halls. Unused for five years, the facility needs repair.
Development funds of Rs 2.5 crore sanctioned by the ITDC would be used to renovate the hub, Tripathy added.
“We will launch tourist-friendly features such as tents and lawns. Adventure sports such as rappelling will also be introduced here,” he said.
It is well known that Jharkhand, blessed with natural bounty, lags behind in infrastructure. “There were only 11 tourist complexes even 10 years after the state was formed. Thirteen more were added in three years,” Tripathy said.
Though over 50 complexes have been set up, operators have not come forward to run all.
However, the opening of the Hundru hub can well mark a new era. “The scenic beauty here is comparable to Kashmir. Hundru must be developed as a tourist spot,” said Ramakant Munda, the mukhiya.