Heritage tag for more Bengal monuments, buildings: Minister

Kolkata: The West Bengal government is planning to declare more monuments and old buildings as heritage complexes to promote tourism in the state, Tourism Minister Rachpal Singh said Friday.

"There are only six Archeological Survey of India (ASI) protected heritage buildings in Kolkata while the number of ASI protected heritage complexes in other metropolis is several times higher. In Mumbai there are at least 106 such heritage buildings and 44 in Ahmedabad. We are considering including more old buildings, temples and monuments in ASI heritage list," he said.

A proposal would be sent soon to the ASI urging it to declare several old buildings, temple and monuments across the state as heritage complex. "We are identifying the old buildings, temples and monuments which could be declared as heritage complex," Rachpal Singh said in his address at Tourist Spot, eastern India`s biggest tourism fair.

If more buildings and monuments and temples could be identified as heritage complex, it will help to promote tourism in the state, he said.

"In the near future, we are planning to introduce religious and vintage tours across Kolkata and other parts of the state. I have already toured in several districts to find out new tourist spots and all the old tourist spots would be renovated," said Rachpal Singh.

He criticised the previous Left Front government for not setting up infrastructure and promoting tourism in the state.

"I have not found any other department in any other government as ramshackle as my tourism department. The only job of the previous government was to run tourist lodges to accommodate a section of people," he said.

There were no facilities in the tourist lodges and no infrastructure to attract and promote tourism in Bengal. "We have already prepared a road map to promote tourism. Our main job will be to promote, regulate and market tourism at international level," he said.

The state tourism department will launch a new website to promote tourism.

"It will be of international standard and have linkage with call centres to help the tourists. We will also inform the tourists about the weather, hotels, car rents in tourist spots across the state," said the minister adding several sea sports and wild life safari will be introduced to attract international tourists.

IANS

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