WBTDC signs agreement with IL and FS group to promote tourism

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Kolkata, Mar 4 (UNI) West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation (WBTDC) entered into an agreement with IL and FS Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited for development of four tourism projects in the joint venture, involving an estimated Rs 487-crore investment.

WBTDC Managing Director T V N Rao and IL and FS Vice President Sudip Dutta signed the Memorandum of Understanding in the presence of Tourism Minister Manab Mukherjee yesterday.

The Minister told reporters that WBTDC and IL and FS would float a joint venture company on 50:50 equity partnership for development and implementation of large tourism projects, including four in Darjeeling, Kolkata and its vicinity.

The project plan envisaged development of a river cruise circuit along the Ganga at a cost of Rs 150 crore, setting up of ropeways in Darjeeling and Kolkata involving an expenditure of Rs 135 crore and a Rs 200 crore cruise shipping project utilising the Eastern India coastline.

All the projects are expected to be commissioned by 2010, Mr Mukherjee said.

The joint venture company would also formulate various other tourism projects to be taken up under planned programmes as well as under public-private partnership format. The focus of the company would be on integrated development of tourism circuits, destination development and product development.

IL and FS Group is one of the leading financial and development institutions in partnership with Central and various state governments having taken up development of several icon tourism projects in the country.

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