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Govt plans hotel near Puri beach

Calcutta, Dec. 7: The Mamata Banerjee government has bought a one-acre plot in Puri to set up a hotel, the first such facility to be built by the Bengal administration.

According to the preliminary plan, there will be around 50 rooms in the budget hotel. “Ideally, the rent of a double-bed room in such a hotel should be less than Rs 600 a day. We will try to keep the room tariffs within the reach of common tourists,” an official said.

“The land deal was finalised a few days ago and we took possession of the plot yesterday. Boarders will be able to see the beach from the hotel. The plot is off the Konark-Puri highway, about 6km from Swargadwar,” the official added.

According to tourism department officials, the name of the hotel is yet to be decided. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is expected to name it.

The officials said the hotel would be built keeping in mind the rush of tourists from Bengal to the pilgrim town in the peak season.

“The Bengal government has bought the plot for Rs 27 lakh. A detailed project report will be drawn up soon,” the official said.

According to him, this will be the first hotel to be owned by the Bengal government. The state government had run Great Eastern for nearly three decades before selling it to the Lalit Suri-owned Bharat Hotels Ltd in 2005.

Now, the state government runs guesthouses such as Banga Bhawan in Delhi. The forest and tourism departments own some resorts and lodges.

Senior officials said Mamata planned the budget hotel after learning about the problems being faced by tourists from Bengal because of the rise in hotels tariffs in Puri.

“The chief minister had instructed officials to explore the possibilities of setting up a hotel,” another official said.

The Bengal government had sought a plot from the Odhisa administration around 10 months ago.

According to the initial plan, the hotel will be managed by the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation and bookings can be done online.

The officials said the government was likely to hire private companies to manage the catering and housekeeping services.