Tourism potential underutilised in West Bengal : Swraj

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Kolkata, Apr 9 (UNI) A four-member visiting Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA-UK) delegation, headed by steel baron Swraj Paul, today said tourism potentiality was underutilised in West Bengal.

'' The city has several heritage sites and century-old buildings, a little farther, Santiniketan, the abode of Rabindranth Tagore, which could give huge economic benefit if these are properly utlised, maintained and publicised, '' they opined.

Besides Lord Paul, Baron Amirali Alibhai Bhatia, Ashoke Kumar, Parliamentary private secretary to Hilary Benn, secretary of state, Environment, and Baroness Sandip Verma, were taking part in an interactive session, organised by the FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce&Industry) here.

Bhatia, also the chairman of Forbes Campbell Int Ltd, said, '' We have been appalled to see the condition of Victoria Memorial and scores of paintings of the last century inside the hall. The monument is a British legacy, built in the heart of the city in the first quarter of last century, named after queen Victoria. '' He said they were ready to extend their helping hand, but primarily the onus was on the government to come first with concrete plans.

He said Santiniketan could be the best example to harmonise fushion of the West and oriental culture.

Caparo chief Paul said two major achievements to increase link between London and Delhi were direct air traffic between the two countries and setting up of a fund of 25 million pounds for providing higher education to Indian students.

But the effort on this area was a bit tardy as the Indian government's promise to contribute equal amount of fund was not materialised till date, added Paul.

The UK Parliamentarian also underlined for a greater cooperation on pollution control between the two nations, saying only economic growth would not help a nation as climate change was now a bigger issue.

UNI PC SJC RN1849

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