IMPHAL, July 7: The state government is keen on development of Andro as an attractive tourist destination and preservation of its historic places, said Okram Ibobi.
Addressing the gathering as the chief guest of the 9th Pineapple Festival cum Sellers and Buyers Meets and Youth Festival 2016 held at Thambalnu Market Complex, Poiroupat Lamkhai, Andro on July 6, the chief minister referred to Andro as an ancient village which still preserves its customs, culture and religious practises with belligerence till today.
Andro has got full potential for development as an ideal tourist destination. Above all, there is the sacred fire in the village which was lit hundreds of years ago and is burning continuously till now, Ibobi said. Such adherence to aged-old tradition will lure tourists not just from the country but from across the globe, he asserted while claiming that travellers from advanced countries nowadays prefer naturally endowed locations over artificial tourist spots.
Andro MLA Th Shyamkumar is working with full vigor for development of tourist spots in Andro, the chief minister said. Stating that places that have pulled maximum numbers of visitors like Keina and Andro Meihoubee need better roads, Ibobi informed that after initiation from the local MLA the work programme for widening and development of the roads was included in the list of Centrally sponsored projects for road development.
Chief Minister further said Pioroupat is a historic lake in the state but the paddy fields in the surrounding areas could not be cultivated for many years. But now 99 percent of construction of Thoubal Dam (Mapithel Dam) is now completed and it has the capacity to stock water for a length of 16 km in the upstream.
Now, the paddy fields in Andro area will be able to receive water from the dam even in the lean season during the months of October, November and December. Apart from agriculture, the dam will provide other benefits like generation of power and supply of drinking water.
After completion of infrastructural development in the near future, roads in and around Andro Assembly constituency will improve a lot. This will lead to increase in agricultural and horticultural yields and thereby give a boost to the socio- economy of various communities in the constituency, Ibobi said.
Regretting the lack of institutions for higher studies in the area, the chief minister said his government has completed preparation for filling up the vacant posts at Azad Higher Secondary School in Yairipok to meet the shortages of teachers there. If the requirement is felt, the government will have no hesitation in upgrading the schools in the area.
Speaking about the pineapple festival, Ibobi said the quality of soil in Manipur is different from the soil in other states. Andro has pineapple, Churachandpur has ginger, Ukhrul has King Chilly and lemon and Tamenglong has orange, and the tastes of our fruits are better in flavour compared to those available in other places, he said.
Andro MLA Th Shyamkumar said the festival is manifestation of the admirable work culture of the people of Andro.
The festival has also become a part of tourism in the area and people coming from other places are delighted to spend time in Andro, he opined adding that the festival is organised to encourage the pineapple farmers to maintain the existing level of good work culture.
Shyamkumar also requested the government to set up a college in Andro constituency raising a point that it will serve the different communities living there.
In the function T Pamei, Commissioner Horticulture and Soil Conservation; Brig JS Bainsla, Commander 9-sector Assam Rifle; and Col JC Hajarnis, Commandant of 2nd Assam Rifle were also present as guests of honour.