TODAY -

3rd edition of Shirui Lily festival opens amid razzmatazz
There can be no tourism without culture : Prahlad Singh Patel

Source: The Sangai Express / DIPR

Imphal, October 16 2019: Chief Minister N Biren Singh along with Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (i/c) Prahlad Singh Patel opened the 3rd Shirui Lily Festival, at a glittering function attended by a number of dignitaries and hundreds of people from different parts of the State at Shirui village today.

Speaking at the function, Union Minister of State for Culture & Tourism (i/c) Prahlad Singh Patel said that there will be no tourism without culture.

A collective effort is needed from all the stakeholders to explore ways to attract tourists to the State, he added.

Prahlad Singh Patel said that the North East region is gifted with scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage which are one of the most important components of attracting tourists.



3rd edition of Shirui Lily festival opens amid razzmatazz
3rd edition of Shirui Lily festival opens amid razzmatazz


Due to some wrong perception, the region is unable to attract tourists and such perception needs to be broken, he added.

The Union Minister stated that he had written a letter to the Union HRD Minister whether it is possible to make it compulsory for students of KVS and Navodaya Vidyalayas to visit the North East region at least once.

He mentioned that those who have witnessed the region at such a young age would always remember the region all through his/her lifetime.

Soon after his arrival at Shirui village, Prahlad Singh Patel unveiled the 'Strength of Unity' pillar.

During the function, the Chief Minister and the Union Minister released a souvenir commemorating the glorious journey of 100 years of Ukhrul as an Administrative Sub-Division.

In his address, Chief Minister N Biren Singh said that in the last two and half years, Manipur is marching ahead with peace prevailing.

He maintained that the Shirui Lily festival became a possibility because there is peace in the State.

Earlier tourists were reluctant to visit the hill areas of the State due to the unwanted law and order situation, he added.

The Chief Minister stated that the aim of any Government is equal and inclusive development.

With such an objective, since its inception, the present Government was pressurizing the Centre for a 'topographical need based budget' to bring inclusive development in the State.

Finally, the Centre implemented the Hill Areas Development Programme (HADP) for hilly States like Manipur.

Among the 82 districts selected for the first phase, Manipur's Tamenglong district has been selected and would be getting RS 90 crore for development under the programme, he added.

He mentioned that the Ministry of DoNER has assured that all the hill districts of the State would be covered under the scheme.



Rhythms of Manipur artistes performing at the inaugural function of Shirui Lily Festival at Shirui village in Ukhrul
Rhythms of Manipur artistes performing at the inaugural function of Shirui Lily Festival at Shirui village in Ukhrul


Mentioning that around Rs 600 crore would be spent for improving road connectivity in Ukhrul district, the Chief Minister said that around Rs 250 crore has been sanctioned for the construction of roads connecting Kamjong and Tengnoupal districts.

He maintained that TRIFED under Ministry of Tribal Affairs has also agreed to set up 75 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras in the State.

The Chief Minister stated that the State Cabinet recently approved the 'Stand Up Manipur' scheme under the existing Start Up Manipur Scheme to provide subsidy and soft loans to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, OBC, Women and Minorities for setting up business.

He mentioned that entrepreneurs who have benefited from 'Start Up Manipur' have been able to double their annual income.

He urged the educated youth and entrepreneurs to come forward and avail the benefits of various schemes.

N Biren also maintained that all the disputes will be settled through dialogue and negotiations.

Stating that Manipur belongs to the people of the State, the Chief Minister affirmed that the State government will not allow anything which can hurt the interests and sentiments of any community living in the State.

Praising the hospitality offered by the Tangkhul community of the State, he mentioned that more than 2000 homestays have been booked by tourists to witness the festival.

He thanked the village chiefs, leaders and people of Ukhrul for taking Shirui Lily festival to greater heights.

Later, the Chief Minister and the Union Minister also inaugurated stalls and opened the cultural programme presentations at Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) ground at Ukhrul district headquarters as part of the four-day festival, which will continue till October 19.The two leaders then went to Bakshi Ground and opened Shirock-2019 that will feature grand concerts of two internationally sought after bands Nazareth and Extreme and also a rock competition taken part by different bands from across the North East.

The Chief Minister and the Union Minister also inaugurated the new constructed building of Forest Division Office, Ukhrul.

The festival is held under the sponsorship of the Department of Tourism, Manipur to spread awareness about conservation of the endangered Shirui Lily and promote the district as a tourist destination.

Earlier in the morning, N Biren Singh and Prahlad Singh Patel landed at the helipad located at Bakshi Ground in a helicopter at around 11.30 and proceeded to Shirui village by road to attend the opening ceremony.

After the function, they returned to TNL Ground and then to Bakshi Ground before leaving for Imphal in the same helicopter at around 3.30 pm.

Member of Parliament (Inner) Dr RK Ranjan, Member of Parliament (Outer) Dr Lorho S Pfoze, Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar Singh, CAF&PD Minister Karam Shyam, Public Health Engineering Minister L Dikho, Agriculture Minister V Hangkhanlian, Tourism Corporation of Manipur Chairman, Dr Sapam Ranjan, MLAs Khashim Vashum, O Lukhoi, P Brojen, ADC Chairman and Members, Chief Secretary, Ukhrul DC Joseph Pauline, Kamjong DC Kengoo Zuringla and other high ranking State and Central Government officials also attended the function.


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