Biswajit moots development of Machi as tourist destination

STAFF REPORTER/DIPR IMPHAL, 9th May: 
Acknowledging the rich traditional and cultural heritage of Machi village, works minister Th Biswajit has assured to discuss with the chief minister about the possibilities of developing the village into a tourist destination.
Biswajit was speaking as chief guest on the third day of celebration of Maring Paaryao-Thillai (Cultural Festival) cum Indigenous Heritage Village Lil Thallung Bun at Lhikbung Machi, Machi sub-division on Wednesday.
“Manipur is inhabited by different communities and we get to see unique cultures and traditions of the different communities. If Meetei community is known for its handloom products, Maring tribe is also known for making ‘Thumok’ (cane and bamboo basketry),” he said.
For centuries, ‘Maringna Saba Sangpai’ (basket made by Marings) has been a clause closely associated with the Manipuri society. The clause itself shows the craftsmanship of Maring community. Apart craftsmanship, the community has also its own rich costumes, tradition, culture and language. Likewise, there are several communities with their own unique traditions, culture, costumes and languages, the minister said.
“Culture encompasses our language, cuisine, dance, music and arts, and we should preserve our culture for the future generation,” Biswajit exhorted.
Promoting the idea of unity among the different communities, the minister said, “We may have different languages, dialects, culture, tradition, religion, but we should always remember that we belong to one human race and we should cooperate with one another to bring development in the state.”
Observing that there can be no peace without unity, the minister called upon the people to bridge the gap of mistrust and miscommunication amongst the communities residing in the state. The effort of the government to bridge the gap has started showing positive results, he said.
Acknowledging the demand for declaring the village as a heritage site as a legitimate demand, Biswajit said that the state government cannot declare a heritage site, however, it can pursue the matter with the Centre once the site fulfils all the criteria for a heritage site.
On the other hand, the state government can develop tourist spots in the area and convert the village into a tourist destination, he said and asked the local authorities to submit a formal application for the same so that he may take up the issue with the chief minister and the tourism department.
Biswajit also enquired if people of the area are getting the benefits of government schemes. Expressing concern over the deforested hill slopes along the way to the village, the minister said that crop plantation can be taken up along the deforested hill slopes after properly identifying suitable crops like maize. He said that the plantation which could be undertaken under the buy-back policy of the government could help in improving the economy of the village and its people.
Explaining on various government schemes, Biswajit assured to provide free power connection to every household in the village under Saubhagya scheme. He also assured to construct houses for families with improper houses under PMAY (G) scheme and asked the village authority to submit a list of such families to the DCs.
Wednesday’s event was also attended by Tengnoupal MLA D Korungthang, ex-minister Morung Makunga, district officials and village leaders among others. Earlier, the minister and MLA D Korungthang unveiled a memorial stone of the festival.
Cultural dances and songs were also performed as part of the function. On their arrival at the village, the dignitaries were accorded a warm traditional welcome by the villagers.


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