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Demolition notice to four hotels near Digha

Tamluk, Dec. 4: Four hotels and resorts in Tajpur, an upcoming beach destination near Digha, have been issued demolition notices because they fell within 200m of the high-tide line.

The Digha-Shankarpur Development Authority has given the owners a month from today to pull down the hotels and resorts in Tajpur, 15km from Digha.

In the past few years, around a lakh tourists have been visiting Tajpur every year because of its less-crowded beach.

“The four hotels and resorts have come up within 200 metres of the high-tide line in violation of coast regulation zone rules. We issued the notices today. If the structures are not demolished within a month, we will have to do it. But the owners will have to bear the cost of the demolition,” said Soumen Pal, the executive director of the DSDA.

Pal added that the four hotels and resorts had been served show-cause notices in October and were asked to produce copies of the sanctioned building plans. “They did not do so,” he said.

Two of the four owners The Telegraph spoke to said they were issued trade licences by the local panchayat. They said they were planning to move court against the demotion order.

Satyapriya Das, the owner of Sunrise Resort in Tajpur, said he had started constructing the resort about one-and-a-half years ago. “The local Talgachhari gram panchayat had charged me Rs 3,000 for the trade licence. I have renewed the licence. I am yet to get the demolition notice. After I get it, I may move court against the order,” he said.

The owner of Palm Village Resort refused comment.

The secretary of the Tajpur Sea Coast Hoteliers’ Association, Shyamal Das, said: “Around 20 hotels and resorts have come up in Tajpur recently. If the four hotels and resorts are illegal, why were they issued trade licences and power connections? We will take up the matter with the DSDA.”

The pradhan of the Talgachhari gram panchayat, Geeta Pradhan, said she was not aware of the coastal regulation zone rules, but blamed the panchayat samiti for sanctioning the building plans.

“We have stopped sanctioning building plans now. The panchayat samiti does that. If the administration declares some hotels and resorts illegal, their trade licences will be cancelled.”

Sources said that as tourists preferred hotels near the beach, often coastal rules were violated.

DSDA chairperson and Trinamul MP Sisir Adhikari said chief minister Mamata Banerjee had last year issued “strict instructions” against building hotels and resorts near the coastline in Digha, Tajpur and Mandarmani.

“I had asked the local panchayats to keep a watch on illegal constructions. But since early this year, they have been tied up with campaign meetings for the panchayat polls. Some illegal constructions were done during this period. We will be more careful now,” Adhikari said.