BHUBANESWAR: Odisha government's flagship glamping festival Eco Retreat has run into rough weather over selection of agencies for infrastructure as tents at some locations were found incomplete even two days after the event was inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
While tents and material mobilisation at Pati-Sonapur in Ganjam and Putsil-Deomali base in Koraput have not been completed, visitors who stayed in tents at Konark Eco Retreat complained of poor quality furniture, hospitality and food.
Enraged over the substandard works at Pati-Sonapur and Putsil that led to cancellation of bookings, the Tourism department has issued notice to Ajmer-based Sunset Desert Camp, the agency engaged for managing the event, asking it to resolve the issues within 72 hours or face action.
The agency was initially asked to get the tents ready by December 8, but the deadline was extended to December 15 in view of the Jawad cyclone and subsequent rains. Since the sites were not ready, the department had to cancel the bookings made by certain guests on December 16 and 19.
"In spite of the additional time given, these two sites could not be made ready whereas the other five sites of Eco Retreat, operated by other agencies, are open for guests. The cancellation of bookings because of lack of readiness has caused a dent to the brand image of Odisha Eco Retreat and Odisha Tourism," the notice stated.
As during the site visits the department officials observed that the arrangements made by the firm are not conforming to the quality standards as per the agreement, Tourism Director Sachin R Jadhav has warned that no substandard infrastructure, furniture or service will be acceptable.
The agency has been asked to replace old and unclean tents, use quality beds, mattresses and commodes, set up kitchen, dining hall with appropriate standards, engage adequately trained and qualified chefs, service boys, requisite manpower at the reception and other areas.
Stating that Eco Retreat is a high value signature brand of Odisha, Jadhav warned of appropriate action in accordance with the contract terms if the firm fails to comply with. The glamping fest is being held at Konark, Satkosia, Bhitarkanika, Daringbadi, Hirakud, Pati-Sonapur and Putsil.