DIPR - Manipur

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Published on Thu, 16 Aug, 2018 Both



Imphal, August 14, 2018 (DIPR): Governor Najma Heptulla dedicated the first project under Government of India’s Swadesh Darshan Scheme, ‘Development of North East Circuit: Imphal and Khongjom’ to the public in the presence of Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh and Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge) Shri. K.J. Alphons at historic Kangla today.

            The project which covers two sites - Kangla Fort in Imphal and Khongjom was taken up at an estimated cost of Rs. 72,22,82607 under the Union Ministry of Tourism.

Speaking at the occasion, Governor Najma Heptulla said that she had written to the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to include Imphal in the list of iconic cities of the country. She also requested the Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge) Shri K.J. Alphons, who was also present at the function, to convince the Prime Minister regarding the matter.

Smt. Heptulla also handed over a copy of the letter written to the Prime Minister to the Union Minister at the function. There could be no other city in the country having so much of historical and cultural importance and many sporting talents, she observed.

Expressing concern over omitting Maharaja Kullachandra’s name in the records of Kalapani Cellular Jail, she also urged the authority concerned of the Central Government to look into the matter.

In the World War-II, two fiercest and significant battles were fought - one in the Western Front i.e. in France where Hitler was defeated and another in the Eastern Front i.e. in Imphal/Kohima, she said.

Maintaining that thousands of tourist visit France to witness the war memorials of the Western Front every year, the Governor observed that similar number of tourists would also come to Imphal if the Government develops the capital city of Imphal as a tourist destination.

Moreover, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army (INA) hoisted its flag for the first time on the Indian soil at Moirang during World War-II, she added.

Stating that Manipur has a rich cultural heritage and bountiful scenic beauty, she called Manipur as the ‘God’s own paradise’. Smt. Heptulla urged the Central Government to give a chance to the State to bring development through tourism sector.

She said that dancing deer Sangai is found only in the Keibul Lamjao National Park which is floating on the largest freshwater lake of the North East region, Loktak Lake.

Apart from it, Manipur is the birthplace of modern polo and Nat Sankirtana had been included in the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, she said while adding that Ima Market, which has around 4000 women vendors, is the largest women’s market in the world.

In terms of connectivity, Smt. Heptulla said that several airline companies had introduced direct flights between Imphal and New Delhi.

Delivering his speech, Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh appealed to the people of the State for creating an environment conducive for the growth of tourism sector.

            Stating that there is a strong need to realise that tourism is one sector which could be heavily relied on to boost State’s economy, Shri N. Biren said that development of tourism would generate employment and create better livelihoods for the people.

            He said that the completion and inauguration of North East Circuit: Imphal and Khongjom project, which started in 2015, is yet another milestone for the State. Some of the major components such as the light and sound show would be a USP of the capital city of Imphal. It is the first of its kind in the whole of the North East region, he added.

            The Chief Minister also expressed hope that completion of the project would attract more visitors and cater to the needs of travellers who wish to learn more about the history of the old kingdom of Manipur.

            Shri N. Biren further informed that the State Government had submitted new proposals for potential projects which can be taken up under Swadesh Darshan 2018-19. These include development of infrastructure for Eco and Ethnic Park at Loktak Lake, adventure sports and eco-tourism at Mapithel and eco-tourism facilities at Sadu Chiru-Kangmong-Kanto.

            Maintaining that the State is aware that infrastructure deficit is a crucial handicap and a challenge in realising the objective of transforming Manipur as a favourite tourist destination, the Chief Minister expressed hope that the Central Government would extend unflinching support and co-operation to the State Government in this regard.

            The Chief Minister said that Bishnupur district with varied tourist attractions such as Loktak Lake, Keibul Lamjao, INA Memorial, Red Hill, India Peace Memorial, Loukoi Pat and nearby tourist spots like Sadu Chiru waterfall has the potential for development of much more tourist infrastructures.

            Stating that the new State Government has been focussing on development of tourism sector, he said that tourism infrastructures like Santhei Natural Park, Andro, tourist resort at Sendra Hillock, Manipur Adventure and Allied Sports Institute Complex (MAASIC), Keirao had already been inaugurated while ambitious projects like Langol-Chieraoching-Marjing Ching and Sendra-Thanga ropeway projects are in the offing.

            Speaking at the occasion, Shri K.J. Alphons said that the North East has been neglected for a pretty long time. However, the North East States and particularly Manipur is finally taking off towards development with the coming of new Governments at the Centre and the State.

            The Minister said that the Centre is ever ready to sanction funds for good projects. He expressed hope that the newly inaugurated project would attract huge number of visitors to the State generating lots of revenue and income.

            Stating that 2017 was a very good year for tourism sector of the country, the Minister said that the sector is now contributing over 7 per cent of the GDP of the country and 12.36 per cent in employment.      India is now one of the fastest growing tourism economies of the world, he added.

            Shri Alphons also read out a message from the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi regarding the inauguration of the tourism project at the function.

            Ministers Shri Th. Biswajit, Shri Karam Shyam, Shri Letpao Haokip, Shri Th. Shyamkumar, Shri Losii Dikho, Shri V. Hangkhanlian, Smt. Nemcha Kipgen, Tourism Corporation of Manipur Ltd Chairman Dr. Sapam Ranjan, MLAs and high ranking officials of the Government of India and Government of Manipur also attended the function as dignitaries.