TODAY -

Torpid tourism sector
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: May 06, 2022 -



FOR the past few years, the state has been free from any major socio-ethnic conflict situation with the exception of stray cases of some disgruntled civil societies calling flash bandh over petty issues and resorting to blockade along the two national highways that connect Manipur with other parts of the country to air their grievances.

Such a marked improvement in the law and order situation underscores that the incumbent government has firm resolve to portray the state in a palatable manner and ring out the message that visitors need not fear of coming to Manipur for businesses or to spend a while as tourists.

However, in-spite of the semblance of overall stability and contrary to its potential, arrival of tourists into the state is yet to pick up the desired pace, with the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic situation being one of the likely factors for reluctance of tourists from mainland states or abroad to step foot in the state.

Few other reasons for the negligible footfall of tourists could be the poor road connectivity, limited tourist spots and lack of structures or facilities which would be enticing for the visitors.

There is no doubt that Manipur, like many other states in the northeast region, is endowed with pleasant climatic conditions as is evident from the state facing no heat wave at a time when rest of the country is reeling under record-breaking temperatures.

On account of the unbearable rise in temperature wealthier people have started rushing to popular and serene hill stations in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh whereas the northeast, including Manipur, continue to be bereft of domestic tourists.

The only notable inflow of outsiders into the state is the migrant labourers, for whom Manipur remains the favourite destination to earn livelihood.

As such, it is desired that the review meeting chaired by Union minister for culture, tourism and DoNER G Kishan Reddy at Sendra Park in Moirang on Tuesday is not reduced to a mere formality but followed up with some concrete measures to complete pending tourism projects in the state.

As the said meeting had officials of state and central government, Loktak Development Authority and various other departments in attendance the same would serve no purpose in case the state's representatives could not translate into action whatever discussions that were held.

In fact, the centre's intention of organising Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav: North East Festival across the eight northeastern states under the auspices of the Union DoNER ministry is not only confined to glorifying the freedom movement but also celebrate the diverse culture, including the homogeneous scenic beauty of the north-eastern region.

Therefore, if at all the state cannot convert its limited tourism potential into a source of livelihood for the thousands of unemployed youths then there is nothing to gain out of the government repetitively claiming that the law and order situation has improved to a great extent and tourists are getting increasingly attracted to the state's scenic charm.

As there is no point in relishing on nature's bounty, the government must ensure better transport network and expedite completion of pending tourism projects rather than count the handful of picnic and recreational sites run by private individuals in some valley pockets as its achievement and fruition of normalcy returning to the state.



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