An official said that a development agency of the West Bengal government is establishing a tourist circuit connecting Digha, a coastal town in the Purba Medinipur district, with Mandarmani, another well-known seaside resort, along the 29.5 km-long Marine Drive route.
The project is being carried out by the Digha Shankarpur Development Authority, and work on it is nearly finished, according to him. Manas Mondal, the DSDA Executive Officer, told PTI. He said that visitors may start from any of the four locations and complete the entire circuit. Three bridges have been built as part of the project, which began in 2018, to facilitate connection at Nayakhali, Jalda on the Champa river, and Soila on the Pichhaboni river along the Marine Drive route. The project required an expenditure of 173 crore.
“Due to some ongoing work at Tajpur and road repairing in around one-km stretch there, the entire Marine Drive cannot be opened immediately. It will be done very soon,” Mandal said.
If a visitor wants to explore several tourist attractions in this coastal zone, the Marine Drive will cut the travel distance by about 10 km, he claimed, adding that a 1-kilometer Nature’s Trail with a butterfly park and aviary in New Digha will also be built. Approximately 500 metres distant from the former Digha seashore, the DSDA also intends to beautify a sizable water body and turn it into a migratory bird nesting area, according to Mondal.
Digha’s seaside open-air live entertainment, as well as the area’s beautifying and illumination, have already drawn tourists. In response to a query, a different DSDA official stated that prior to the Covid era, Digha saw between 20 and 25 lakh tourists from January through December. According to the official, fewer than 2-3 lakh people arrived in each of the previous two years in 2020 and 2021.
Tourists have been pouring into the coastal town in large numbers recently as a result of the COVID situation improving, and the DSDA anticipates 30 lakh visitors this year, he said. The source noted that the yearly visitor footfall is anticipated to exceed 35 lakh once the Jagannath temple is finished and open to devotees.