naveen: Sail In The Lap Of Luxury With Garuda | Bhubaneswar News – Times of India

Bhubaneswar: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday inaugurated a luxury houseboat at Barkul in Chilika Lake, Odisha’s first.
Rolling out the houseboat, named Garuda, in the presence of tourism minister Ashwani Patra, Naveen said the initiative will certainly boost the tourism profile of the lake and bring national and international tourists to Odisha.
“The Chilika Lake is a major biodiversity hotspot in India. It is one of the jewels of our tourism sector and has the potential to transform Odisha into an attractive tourist destination. My government is keen to position Odisha as an ecotourism destination of the country,” Naveen said.
The luxury houseboat, Garuda, has two floors with two suites, four premium rooms, a bar and a restaurant. There is an open-air lobby in the upper deck for meetings/conferences. The air-conditioned lounge in the lower floor with a bar can accommodate 30 people comfortably with premium luxury, read an official statement.
The houseboat is being operated by Vikash Eco Resorts in Chilika. It has been developed with an investment of Rs 3 crore. The project was indigenously designed, developed and manufactured in Barkul on the bank of Chilika, officials said.
The Odisha Tourism approved the project through a single-window clearance mechanism. The Chilika Development Authority and directorate of the ports and inland water transport have given statutory clearances to this project.
“The bookings will start tentatively around July. Tourists can visit the website of Vikas Eco Resorts for online booking. The guests will check-in at 12 noon. Then they will be served lunch during a ride from the Chilika Lake to Kalijai Island, where the guests can get off the boat,” an official of Odisha Tourism said.

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