After Gazoldoba in Jalpaiguri, the state tourism department now plans to prepare another tourist spot based on water bodies at the Mahananda Barrage at Fulbari near Siliguri, following proposal from chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Quoting Shakespeare, tourism minister Gautam Deb, who visited the site today, said: “Where there is a will, there is a way. Funds do not matter in the state.

Had the Reserve Bank of India not deducted huge amounts of interests on loan taken during the Left regime, the scenario of the exact development in the state would have far batter.

However, despite the situation, the state will manage funds for development.” Talking to reporters, he added that the main objective of the project is protection and conservation of water bodies, in which many migratory birds come during the winters.

“The irrigation department has recently developed an area by implementing some beautification work. We also plan to set up a butterfly park and a snake rescue centre here,” he said.

“Besides this, we are planning to construct a jetty for boating and develop a spot where people will come to breathe fresh air amid green plantations. Some watchtowers will also be constructed for visitors, including bird watchers,” he added.

According to him, a detailed project report (DPR) is being readied by a group of officials at Uttarkanya in Siliguri. The convenor of the Association for Conservation of Tourism, Raj Basu, who is actively associated with the tourism industry, is also looking after the matter.

The project will be completed in a phased manner within two years. It is expected that people will be able to visit the first phase before Durga Puja. The project was conceived by the chief minister, as she uses that route on her way to Bagdogra Airport during her north Bengal trip, sources said

According to Mr Deb, the location of the project is also important as it is well connected with Bagdogra Airport, Asian Highway-II, while people from Siliguri can also take a 20-minute drive to the area easily.

Asked to comment on the project, Mr Basu said: “Construction of bridges and barrages over water bodies disturbs nature. Despite that, the new project is to add more natural beauty to the area here.”

“After the Gazoldoba tourism hub, and then the Bengal Safari, this new project may be another destination for tourists in the chicken neck, which is connected with other states and countries like Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh,” Mr Basu added.