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Surf 'n' sand fest at Digha

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 12.11.11
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Tourists on a Digha beach

Come January, you could parasail on the Bay of Bengal or zoom about on the sea on a water scooter. The Digha-Mandarmani Festival, the state’s first such event, will provide that opportunity and much more.

The four-day festival, scheduled to be held from January 13 to 16, is being organised by the tourism and youth affairs ministries and the Digha Sankarpur Development Authority.

Tourism minister Rachpal Singh said several private firms involved in water and other adventure sports had shown interest in the festival.

“Talks are on with many organisations from various places, from Singapore to Goa,” said Singh. “They have the expertise in such activities and we have an interest in projecting Bengal’s beaches to the country.”

The minister added that apart from sports such as parasailing, water skiing and riding water scooters, various other kinds of games, such as beach cricket, beach volleyball and all-terrain bike competitions would be organised on the 23km stretch of hard beach along Digha and Mandarmani.

If adventure sports is not your thing, you could easily indulge the gourmet in you. There’ll be a seafood festival, where you could select your favourite sea fish that would be cooked in front of you for your delectation.

“We have held talks with several frontrunners of the food and beverage industry. Many of them have shown a keen interest in hosting the seafood festival,” said Raghavendra Singh, the principal secretary of tourism.

There will also be fireworks shows every evening, and Bangla bands will perform live on temporary watchtowers built on the beaches, said a source.

“Giant screens would be put up on the beaches, where critically acclaimed movies would be screened,” the tourism minister said.

“The objective is to develop infrastructure and promote the sea beaches of the state as international destinations,” said Debasish Sen, the chairman of the Digha Shankarpur Development Authority. “Such an objective cannot be achieved overnight, but we have found that there is tremendous excitement regarding the festival among residents, whose lives depend on tourism.”

Singh said roads would be repaired and that the tourism department was working on establishing an alternative route to Mandarmani, as the condition of the existing one from Chaulkhola to Mandarmani was poor.

Local municipalities and panchayats have started beautifying the spots identified for hosting the festival events.