Odisha Govt Banks On Eco-Cottages To Boost Green Tourism

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government will rope in private players to develop eco-cottages at several tourist destinations.

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The aim is to cash in on the state’s potential for eco-retreat activities across the year, according to official sources.

As part of the plan, eco-cottages will be designed, developed and maintained on PPP mode with “credible private partners” having experience in the trade.

The project will be launched at Hirakud and Baliput in Satkosia on a pilot basis. Later, it will be extended to Paradip, Daringbadi, Pati Sonapur and Koraput.

This was discussed at a virtual meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra on Thursday.

Following the meeting, Principal Secretary of the Tourism Department Vishal Dev said around six acres of land each at Hiraud and Baliput have been earmarked for the project.

Around Rs 6.25 crore will be invested in each site for land development, landscaping and building ecologically suitable and sustainable cottages, Dev added.

According to the Chief Secretary, an open bidding process will be held to select private partners to set up the eco-cottages. They will be involved as stakeholders from the beginning of the projects.

As support to the private partners, the government will provide viable gap funding for building the eco-cottages and infrastructure facilities such as road, power and water.

The private partners will also be provided hand-holding support for availing different statutory permissions.

The Chief Secretary also directed the Tourism, Water Resources, Forest and Environment Departments to identify other destinations and protect government land there for future development.

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