Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today flagged off ‘Garuda’ – Odisha’s first ever luxury houseboat at Chilika lake.
He launched the project virtually in presence of newly appointed Tourism Minister Aswini Kumar Patra at Odisha Tourism Watersports Complex, Barkul, here today.
“This initiative will certainly improve the tourism profile of Chilika lake and attract national and international tourists to this state. Chilika lake is a major biodiversity hotspot in the country. It is one of the jewels of our tourist sector and has potential to transform Odisha as an attractive tourist destination. My Government is keen to position Odisha as a ecotourism destination of the country,” Patnaik said through a video message.
[Watch] Odisha’s first ever luxury houseboat inaugurated at Chilika lake
Tourism Director Sachin R Jadhav, Khordha Collector Sangram Mohapatra, Khordha SP Siddharth Kataria, Tourism Additional Secretary Durga Prasad Mohapatra, Tourism OSD Ansuman Rath, SDPO Manas Barik and other senior officers were present at the inaugural ceremony.
‘Garuda’, Odisha’s first luxury houseboat, is operated by Vikash Eco Resorts, in Chilika. It is assumed to attract more national and foreign tourists by offering attractive packages.
The packages are consisting of overnight stay along with full board meals, activities and cruising covering different islands in Chilika.
The luxury houseboat consists of two floors with two suite rooms, four premium rooms, Bar and Restaurant, an Open Air Lobby in upper deck for meetings/conferences. The project has come up with an investment of Rs 3 crore.
The project was indigenously designed, developed and manufactured in Barkul, Odisha. It has been approved by Odisha Tourism through single window mechanism and it received licenses/statutory clearances from Chilika Development Authority, Directorate Ports and Inland Water Transport.