The century-old Thalkobad forest rest house is all set to get fresh lease of life, 13 years after it was demolished by Naxalites during their reign of terror in the Saranda reserve forest in 2002.
The state forest department is rebuilding the rest house cum lodge, a popular tourist resort situated deep with the Saranda reserve forest, about 200km from Jamshedpur, forest official said.
Till 2002, the sprawling complex used to host training programmes for Indian Forest Service recruits before inducting the officials into the forest department.
Apart from bringing tourism back on track, the state forest department hopes to we want to revive the lost glory of Saranda, said Manoharpur forest ranger officer Ashwani Kumar Choudhary.
The rest house; part of the complex and in the core area of the Saranda reserve was being rebuilt at the cost of Rs.35 lakh, said Choudhary.
The lodge popularly known as Philips was famous its watch tower, which offered a magnificent view of neighbouring Odisha.
Choudhary said reconstruction of the rest house, which was razed to the ground by the Maoists will be completed within the next couple of weeks.
The reconstructed guest house will have two bed rooms, a hall, a kitchen, and will serve food to guests.
Once the guest house is operational, it will provide local youngsters an opportunity to earn a living as tourist guides, Choudhary added.
“The rest house was constructed in the early 1900s while lodge came into existence around 60 years back. Indian Forest Service recruits used to get their mandatory training here and large number of tourist had been visiting here before 2002,” Choudhary said.
Ram Purty, rojgar sevak of Thalkobad said that villagers were hopeful that once the rest house is reopened to tourists it will ensure steady earning opportunities for local youngsters.