Meghalaya CM hands over cheque to Drum festival organisers

Shillong, Oct 29 (PTI) Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma today handed a cheque of Rs 14.57 lakh to the organizers of the Wangala Hundred Drum Festival to be held from November 10 to November 12, next at Asanang in West Garo Hills District of Meghalaya. Addressing a press conference here, Sangma said the state government would extend financial support to such festivals, so that they could be held in a grand way, as also to attract domestic and foreign tourists. Sangma said the state government has taken upon itself the responsibility to make Meghalaya a major tourist destination in the North Eastern Region. He said it would be more attractive for the tourists if they could also visit other North East States at one go. The Chief Minister suggested that there should be a North Tour ackage by roping in other states of the region to enable the tourists stay longer in the region and subsequently earn more revenue from the tourism sector. “As of now the tourists who come to region normally visit Meghalaya and Kaziranga National Park in Assam”, Sangma said, adding that the time has to market North East as tourist destination. When asked about militancy could be a major set for tourism, Sangma said the root cause of militancy has to be tackled. “Militancy is not as glitter as one looks particularly when the militants are on the run. The have to face a lot of hardship while staying in the jungle with malaria and other diseases. That is why many of the youths who have taken up militancy come back and surrender”, he said. The chief minister said the state government was trying hard to introduce some of the flagship programmes in a mission mode to ensure rapid economic development amongst the people.