Monday, August 31, 2009

Committee formed to promote tourism in Meghalaya

SHILLONG, Aug 31: A tourism task force committee was constituted today by the Meghalaya Government to promote, revive and develop tourism in the State. The task force committee will be headed by Chief Minister DD Lapang as the chairman and assisted by two Deputy Chief Ministers Bindo M Lanong and Dr Mukul Sangma as co-chairmen.

The task force committee is aimed at uplifting the economic life of the people of the State by improving and reviving the tourism potential of the State. As a follow up to a meeting held on Saturday between Lapang and Air India CMD, the Chief Minister today announced that the State will improve its air connectivity in the State. He informed that the Air India officials will visit the State from September 15 to 17 to chalk out a plan in this regard. At the Saturday’s meeting, the two parties (Government and Air India) had mooted a plan to commission flights from Shillong to Kolkata and Delhi.

Lapang said that the Government will also find ways and means to construct tourist and cargo complexes near Umroi besides five star hotels and call centres to achieve its aim. He said, “Land is a problem to attract investors to the State, but, the Government is positive to acquire land.” The Finance and Revenue departments have also been directed to acquire land for the construction purpose, he added. The other plans of the Government in the field of tourism included construction of ‘Welcome Centres’ for tourists at Khanapara in Ri-Bhoi district, NH 51 in Garo Hills as well as in Dawki to attract foreign tourists. Opening up of tourism offices at Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai was also mooted out at the meeting. These offices would provide a doorway for exhibiting products of the State besides providing information, Lapang said.

Further, Lapang informed that the Government had entrusted the Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum (MTDF) to make a proposal for improvement of the golf course. “We are planning to make our golf course one of the best in the world,” Lapang said. The Government also decided to speed up construction of big hotels falling under Industrial Leasing and Financial Securities.

Caves that form the main attraction for tourists and adventure lovers will also be developed and rejuvenated. Calendars of the State will also depict culture and beauty of the State. The meeting also decided to update and feed the State tourism website and to improve tourism policy of the State. For this purpose, another meeting will be held on September 15. THE SENTINEL

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