IMPHAL, Nov 30: The 10 day long Manipur tourism festival which began on November 21 at Hapta Kangjeibung located at Palace Compound concluded today with a glittering musical musical extravaganza and indigenous fashion parade.
The state toursim festival under the banner Manipur Sangai festival was organised by the Department of Tourism, Government of Manipur with official partners the Classic Hotel and Shija Hospital.
The closing function was graced by Manipur Governor Gurbachan Jagat as the chief guest.
Speaking at the closing function, Gurabachan Jagat call upon all the underground groups to shun the path of violence and come to the mainstream life.
Appealing all the UG groups to forget all the misdeeds of the past, the Governor said people of Manipur have been living in a miserable life due to 40 years of ununnecessary conflict that has produced so many widows and orphans in the state. Now is the time for all the parties sit down together and have a talk to return peace in Manipur.
While stating sufferers of the current conflict are only Manipuris, the Governor said that if Manipur is lost, everything will be lost.
Further speaking at the function, the Governor mention that the present law and order situation of Manipur has posed a hindrance to development of tourism.
With a view to improving the state’s economy, tourism should be developed in the state properly, the Governor said adding for which all sections of people should work without any bias and prejudice. A positive attitude of appreciating the beauty and
good works of fellow people should be developed among all the people. He confidently stated that the Manipur Sangai Festival would motivate the concerned people and the others alike to work for development of tourism and make the state rich and economically independent.
Gurbachan Jagat gratifyingly stated that the INA Memorial Complex at Moirang is being upgraded through a mega project into a world class tourist spot with underground parking space, shop, air conditioning etc. it is a matter of satisfaction that in order to realize our dream of making Manipur a world class tourist destination, setting up of a state Institute of Hotel Management and Catering is being processed to educate and develop skilled manpower.
There is a plan to upgrade Hotel Imphal, which is the only Hotel run by the state government, to a 5-star category, for which necessary land acquisition is underway. The state government through the Tourism Department has been able to develop various tourist circuits and destinations over the years. The Imphal-Moreh circuits touching the auspicious site of Khongjom War Memorial Complex, Imphal-Churachandpur circuits touching the historic INA Memorial Complex at Moirang are some of the important circuit and destination projects undertaken in recent years, he added.
The Manipur Governor further observed that the Manipur toursim festival is an annual feature and has been organized to showcase the rich cultural heritage and scenic beauty of Manipur. It is fact that the tourism potential of Manipur will have to generate much needed revenue and unemployed our youths in the future. Another aspect of tourism is the promotion of national integration. Domestic tourists from other part of the country will certainly discovered the delightful places, rare flora and fauna in the Loktak Lake and other areas of Manipur and those tourists visiting Manipur will be able to judge for themselves the colorful dances and other cultural traditions of Manipur. The festival incorporates various facets of Manipuri life including the arts and culture, indigenous game and sports, handloom and handicrafts, indigenous cuisines, adventure and eco-tourism.
Indorsing the comment made by Governor, Chief Minister O Ibobi later in his speech stated that Manipur is rich in the field of art and culture which is acclaimed the world over. Raas Leela dance form is a popular and elegant form of dance moving seamlessly to the rhythm of the haunting music, pung cholom, a highly popular form of dancing drummers, enchants the audience
to the beats of drums. Not only this, but different tribal dances contribute significantly to the rich culture heritage of Manipur. The indigenous games of Polo, Yubi Lakpi, Mukna, Kang etc., make the people of Manipur very athletic and enthusiastic towards sports. This is reason why Manipur although a very small state in area has produced high quality world class athletes like Mary Kom, Dinku, Suranjoy and Kunjarani etc. , Ibobi added.
Further, the chief minister stated that the government of Manipur is trying to develop some tourist spot as a mega circuit projects. Loktak Lake, INA complex and Kaina will be upgraded to the world class tourist spot. As tourism is an industry, it will help economically viable of the state, he added.
While stating that developing tourism will greatly reduce unemployment problem in the state, the Chief Minister stressed that training youth in the stream of hotel management and catering should be given top priority.
State toursim minister T N Haokip, T Mangibabu MLA, I Hemochandra MLA and state chief secretary DS Poonia IAS also attended the closing function.
During the festival about 400 stalls were opened including 50 stalls for exclussively for indigenous food. Adventure and sports, production of Handloom and Handicraft were some significant attraction during the festival.
The festival concluded today with cultural program of Ima Leishemba Cultural Institute, indigenous fashion presentation, presentation of FAM and a musical concert.