Berhampur: The coastline of Ganjam district is dotted with several tourist spots, sceneries and beaches such as Gopalpur, Sonapur, Arjyapalli and Potagarh.
But, apart from the Gopalpur beach, the other beaches witness meager football of tourists due to government apathy and lack of interest by the elected representatives to develop the areas into tourist- friendly destinations.
Although these beaches are well connected with NH, it does not help in terms of attracting tourists as they are not properly maintained. Moreover, lack of facilities like boating, toilets, drinking waters and amusements have rendered these beaches unattractive.
Taking for example is the Sonapur beach, situated on the outskirts of Pati Sunapur village under Chikiti block. Although the beach witnesses some picnickers during festive seasons, locals alleged the administration has done little to promote these as tourist destinations and attract more people. Sonapur beach is one of the cleanest beaches in the state.
Similar is the condition of Potagarh beach. The beach is isolated and totally neglected due to its remoteness. On the other hand, the Arjyapalli beach too is left in neglect that spread resentment among the locals.
Some local volunteers take upon themselves to clean the beaches. However, with no help from the administration, they could not do much.
Earlier, the Tourism department had announced to develop Sonapur and Potagarh beaches to attract tourists in June. The announcement was made by Culture and Tourism Minister Ashoka Panda in June, but no steps have been taken so far. The department has failed to tap its potential by building tourist friendly infrastructure such as lodging and boarding facilities toilets and boating.
With the year end celebrations approaching and tourist likely to throng the beaches, locals appealed to the authorities concerned to construct toilets, cements beaches and pathways at the beach for the convenience of tourists.