Friday, 30 May 2008


NBSTC tries to survive with tourism initiative


COOCH BEHAR, May 30: The subsidy-dependent North Bengal State Transport Corporation  (NBSTC) is trying its best to stand on its own feet with the tourism drive that was initiated three years ago.


NBSTC sources said Dooars in north Bengal is very attractive region to the domestic and foreign tourists and visitors. Taking advantage of the interest shown by the tourists the NBSTC is trying to revive its economic condition too. Two vehicles were kept solely for the tourism service and there are a few including a double-decker and two white 28-seaters to meet the growing demand.


Among the existing seventeen tour packages three earned very popularity among the tourists, NBSTC officials claimed. The first two are : (1) Cooch Behar –Jaldapara –Rocky Island –Lava –Lolegaon –Rickysum -Kalimpong –Cooch Behar (2 nights 3 days) and (2) Cooch Behar –Jhalong –Bindu –Jaldapara –Cooch Behar (one-day).


The third popular one named 'Ramgua' is originated from Kolkata. Its route goes through Kolkata –Chilapata –Rasikbil –Rajabhatkhawa –Boxa –Jainti –Jaldapara –Gorumara –Lataguri –Chapramari –Jhalong –Bindu –Chalsa –Samsing –Rocky Island –Suntalekhola –Gorubathan –Leechkhola –Lava –Lolegaon –Rickysom –Delo –Kalimpong –New Jalpaiguri (7 nights 8 days).


The double-decker service along Cooch Behar –Rasikbil –Rajabhatkhawa –Jainti –Baneswar –Cooch Behar is the most low-cost tour package and popular too among local visitors. By spending Rs 125 only one can enjoy a daylong tour on any scheduled holiday.


The tourists can arrange their own tour packages too. If they want they can re-schedule the existing tour packages. A group of fifteen to twenty tourists can avail any package of their choice, NBSTC officials said.


To add another feather to its crown the NBSTC is now planning a new tour package along Cooch Behar –Guwahati –Shillong –Cherapunji. Recently, a survey was completed to examine the proposed route's viability. The package may be launched after the pujas.


Meanwhile, talks are initiated with Assam State Transport Corporation and Assam state tourism department to extend the NBSTC's tourism drive to attract tourists of Assam and Meghalaya. It was observed that the visitors from Assam and other northeast states come to Cooch Behar to go to Madhupur-dham. Some of them visit Dooars on their own. The NBSTC wants to offer a planned package for these visitors who are interested to explore the beauty of Dooars, a NBSTC official said. []

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