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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 April 2024

Gorkhaland Territorial Administration to spend Rs 20 lakh to beautify Sumendu Lake in Mirik

In addition, the GTA has also decided to host a two-day tourism festival in Mirik on March 1 and 2 to promote the town and its surroundings as a tourist destination

Bireswar Banerjee Siliguri Published 22.02.24, 06:01 AM
The motorboat on Sumendu Lake in Mirik introduced by the GTA on Wednesday.

The motorboat on Sumendu Lake in Mirik introduced by the GTA on Wednesday. Passang Yolmo

The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) will spend around Rs 20 lakh to beautify Sumendu Lake in the hill town of Mirik and declare the lake and its surroundings a “plastic carry bag-free zone".

In addition, the GTA has also decided to host a two-day tourism festival in Mirik on March 1 and 2 to promote the town and its surroundings as a tourist destination.

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On Wednesday, the GTA also introduced a motorboat in the lake, keeping in view the upcoming summer tourist season.

“The boat will be used for rescue and patrolling works in the lake. Also, it will keep a watch on the lake to prevent dumping of wastes into the water body,” said a source.

Dawa Sherpa, the coordinator of the tourism department of the GTA, said that around a fortnight back, GTA chief executive Anit Thapa had visited the hill town. During his visit, he expressed displeasure at the condition of the lake, Mirik's prime attraction.

“Abrupt dumping of wastes in the lake has increased the height of its bed. That is why the entire lake and its surrounding areas will be declared as plastic carry bag-free zone. Further, the outlets of drains will be covered with nets and an extensive cleanliness drive will be conducted in the lake area on March 24,” said Sherpa.

Every year, hundreds of tourists visit Mirik, which is around 50 kilometres from here, for the lake. They enjoy boat rides, a walk over a bridge which is on the lake and other attractions.

The GTA, Sherpa said, has also engaged its engineering cell to renovate the iconic Indreni Bridge that was constructed over the lake in 1976. The department is spending Rs 8.5 lakhs to give a facelift to the arch-shaped structure.

“Another Rs 10.2 lakh will be spent for illumination of the entire site,” he said.

On the two-day tourism fest, Sherpa said: “During the fest to be arranged on the lakeside area, we will introduce mountain biking along the 3.5km stretch surrounding the lake. The fest will have attractions like cultural functions by ethnic groups, exhibitions of local handicrafts and a choice of local cuisines.

Himalayan Carnival

The Bengal tourism department, in association with the Himalayan Hospitality and Tourism Development Network, will organise a daylong tourism fest in Mirik on March 3 named the Bengal Himalayan Carnival, said sources.

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