Bhograi: The tourism potential of the Talasari-Udayapur beach on the Bhograi coast in Balasore district remains untapped.
Lack of proper facilities has left the picture-postcard beach unexplored, thanks to the absence of political will of the representatives and the Tourist Department.
Locals said the Tourism Department had given short shrift to the beach while the beaches at New and Old Digha in West Bengal have been developed drawing huge numbers of tourists.
The people here pointed out that the Digha beach is fetching crores of rupees to the West Bengal Government as it has around 500 hotels and lodges, while the Talasaria-Udayapur beach is facing neglect.
The Talasari beach, located 2.5 km from the Chandaneswar Shiva Temple in Bhograi block and 90 km from the district headquarters of Balasore, is surrounded by Casuarina trees.
The beach has red crabs giving it a distinct look. However, this has not been able to draw tourists as cleanliness is lacking here.
The beach lacks hotels, safe drinking water, seating arrangements, space for picnickers, proper lighting and boating facilities. Besides, a canal between the Subarnarekha River and the beach has become a problem for tourists. A bridge over the canal has been a long-standing demand which has been ignored by the authorities.
The number of tourists here has been dwindling every year. Despite repeated demands to develop the Udaypur-Talasari-Chandaneswar-Bichitrapur tourist circuit as a beach tourism destination, the administration has not moved.
Earlier, an estimate of Rs 4,302 crore was made for the circuit’s infrastructure development. Infrastructure projects like the construction of a pathway, water sports facilities, a 300-metre foot over-bridge to connect the mainland to Talasari beach, renovation of the fishery jetty, tourist reception centre and others were proposed under the plan. But nothing was done to implement the project and funds have not been sanctioned.
Bhograi MLA and School and Mass Education Minister Ananta Das said he had initiated steps to construct temporary tents for tourists and a hanging bridge over the canal along with a pedestrian only road. But the submergence of forest land emerged as a bottleneck.