Tourism makes more room for Betla buffs

Guesthouse debuts in a week, resort with garden in December

NEW ADDRESS: The almost-ready guesthouse at Betla in Latehar, which will debut in a week. Telegraph picture

Ranchi: Loved the crisp Betla outdoors and exotic wildlife but the dicey accommodation facilities made you wince? There's good news.

Tourists planning to visit Betla National Park in Latehar this winter will find two new guesthouses ready and waiting for them. An eight-roomed guesthouse will debut in a week's time while another five-roomed resort-style facility will start operations in December first week.

General manager of Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation (JTDC), under tourism department, Rajiv Ranjan said the two upcoming guesthouses had been outsourced to a local agency, Aradhya Resorts.

Bookings can be done for both on www.jharkhandtourism.gov.in. Though the tariffs of rooms of the guesthouse to debut in a week have not been officially announced, around Rs 1,500 per room a day is likely, keeping parity with the existing Van Vihar guesthouse prices. The rates of the resort, which is slightly more upscale, have not been decided yet.

JTDC runs the 24-roomed Van Vihar, which is usually chock-a-block in peak winter season and holidays despite problems of water, power and manpower crunch.

Asked, JTDC officials maintained that while they were working upgrading their existing facilities, they hoped the new guesthouses, located near Van Vihar, would immediately help in accommodating tourists.

"Both facilities were under CRPF's possession for years now, though they belonged to us. After lots of negotiations with the government at departmental levels, we got the two vacated in August to gain possession of these guesthouses that together have 13 rooms," he said over phone, adding tourism secretary Rahul Sharma along with other officials visited Betla last week to take stock.

Nand Gopal Tripathi, owner of Aradhya Resorts, said they would open the first guesthouse in a week. "Whitewashing and repairs have been completed recently. From tomorrow (Monday) onwards we will fit television and furniture works. In a week's time, the first facility will be ready," Tripathi said.

On the other five-roomed facility, he said it would be inaugurated in December. "That has a large garden and rooms, kitchens, to give one the feel of living in a resort," he said.


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