Kolkata: To make West Bengal a more tourist-friendly destination, the state tourist department is teaming up with the police to create a dedicated security force to look after the security of travellers.
To be known as "tourist police", the force will work in tandem with the tourist department and the state police, tourism minister Krishnendu Narayan Choudhury told a news agency.
The need to create a dedicated security force was felt in the government circle following a surge in the incidents of molestation and rape in the metropolis as well as other parts of Bengal.
Very recently a French woman was molested by a group of youths in the upmarket Jodhpur Park area in south Kolkata which attracted worldwide attention.
The new exclusive force will be trained by the state and city police officials.
According to Choudhury, volunteers will be recruited by the Tourism Department for the tourist police.
"We will recruit the volunteers for the force, who will be paid by the department. We will also provide them with radio sets and vehicles. They will be trained by the officials of Kolkata and state police," Choudhury said.
The pilot project of the tourist police will start at Digha in East Midnapore district, one of the favourite tourist destinations of Bengal in coordination with the hoteliers` association of Digha.
The kiosks of tourist police will also come up in various tourist destinations such as Dakineshwar Temple, Mother House, Victoria Memorial Hall, Kalighat Temple and other destinations.
State-wise kiosks will come up at various parts of Darjeeling, Sunderbans, Shantiniketan and other destinations in Malda and Murshidabad districts, and all such places which are frequented by tourists.
The Kolkata police which will be training the volunteers said that those who will be recruited under the tourist police will work under specific police stations.