Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 19:
Worried over the poor financial health of state-run tourist bungalows, the Odisha government has decided to manage the Panthanivas and Panthika across the state through public private partnership (PPP) mode.
‘‘We are planning to operate the Panthika and Panthaniva across several destinations in PPP mode as they are incurring losses and in a very bad shape. Only four Panthanivas and six Panthika/Panthasala are functional of the tourist bungalows in the state. The rest houses—Satapada, Baleswar, Binika, Khiching, Ghatagaon, Belaghar, and Phulbani are among 39 destinations where state government is incurring losses consistently over the years,’’ state Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Panda said while replying to a question by MLA Jacob Pradhan in state Assembly on Wednesday.
Lack of skilled manpower and proper infrastructure has prompted government to manage these in PPP mode. The properties would not be handed over to the names of private parties and the names of these tourist bungalows would not be changed except the roadside destinations which would be renamed as ‘Jajabara’, Panda said.
Legislator Debasish Nayak alleged that the Rambha Panthanivas was renovated with an expense of lakhs of rupees a year ago and it is at present in a state of shambles. The bathroom and other rooms are almost crumbling. In view of this, action should be initiated against the contractor, Nayak demanded.
Many members expressed concerns over the inhabitable condition of these tourist destinations across the state. The rooms even don’t have windows and doors due to lack of maintenance, members flayed.
‘‘The Panthasala constructed at Harishankar is presently housing personnel of central para military forces,’’ BJP leader KV Singhdeo said.