Chief minister from her dharna manch in Kolkata had declared that the state government will pay the pending dues for 100 days’ work.
Thirty two-year-old Johannes Haucke, a German architect, who is now touring Junglemahal on his motorcycle, feels that the roads are very good and can be compared to those existing in his country. Mr Haucke is touring in his Honda CRF 250L. He has imported his bike from Germany and started his tour from Kolkata. A resident of Cologne, said he is using a Japanese motorcycle be cause “it is light and easy to manoeuvre”.
Talking to The Statesman, Mr Haucke said, “I am amazed to see the roads and the scenic beauty in Junglemahal. The roads can be compared to the roads we have in Germany. They are smooth and free from potholes which make the ride very comfortable. I will have to go back to Europe next week but I propose to come back to Junglemahal and stay here for four months watching nature from close quarters.”
This is for the first time when a German tourist is exploring the area on a motorcycle, said Sumit Dutta, founder of Jhargram tourism and member of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO). Recently, a German team comprising 11 members visited Jhargram. Sayak Nandi, assistant director of India tourism, Kolkata, under the Ministry of tourism said “It is great news for rural Bengal and tourism industry that German and other foreign tourists are showing interest to explore the lush green landscapes far from the tourist spots in the cities.
It is a game-changer in terms of diversification of tourist destinations and also a moral boost to the rural populace.” Mr Haucke, who stayed at Sonkupi Banjara camp situated at the foothills of Kukuburu Hill, Baghmundi, Purulia, said he would be visiting Jharkhand and then move to Varanasi. It was chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who visited Junglemahal after she came to power and was able to win the confidence of the local people.
Junglemahal had become a Maoist hotbed and tourists had tinned. Now, roads and bridges have been constructed which have made the area a tourist attraction. There are 100-plus registered homestays in Jhargram and 30-plus accommodations in staterun, private establishments and resorts.