Rampurhat, Nov. 20: The district administration has appealed to Tarapith-bound tourists and pilgrims to stay away from the town as a massive eviction drive to clear illegal shanties along the road leading to the temple has been launched today.
Birbhum district magistrate Barun Roy said pilgrims could be inconvenienced if they came before Friday, when the drive will end. “The drive is part of a project to do up the popular tourist spots of Tarapith and the hot springs of Bakreswar,” he said, adding that illegal occupants of the temple complex will also be asked to move.
The tourism department has released Rs 2 crore recently to lay a new six-kilometre approach road to the temple. Construction of a car park and a bus station are also part of the project to ease the traffic snarls that take place during peak season and on important religious days.
A day-care centre for pilgrims with pay-and-use toilets is also coming up. The complex will include rest rooms and refreshment areas. At present, no standard facility is available in the temple town for visitors.
The evicted shop-owners will be relocated in a market complex that is being built close to the temple. “All the illegal stall owners around the temple area will have a chance to have their shops relocated in the new market through a lottery system,” Roy said.
The tourism department has plans to build facilities similar to Tarapith for tourists at Bakreswar, too. The job has been made easier by the fact that there is no need to clear the area around the famed hot springs. A sum of Rs 1.6 crore has been sanctioned for Bakreswar, where the thermal power plant, too, is turning into a major tourist attraction.