Dr Jitendra Singh
Union DoNER minister Dr. Jitendra Singh being welcomed at ‘The Meghalayan Age’ Tourism Conclave, Thadlaskein, near Jowai. Image credit - Twitter

Union DoNER minister Dr. Jitendra Singh on Saturday said The Meghalayan Age was planned in a big way but it was scaled down to a conclave due to coronavirus.

The union ministry of health and family welfare in an advisory asked to avoid mass gatherings.

However, The Meghalayan Age event would go a long way in positioning Meghalaya as a much-sought after tourism destination, said Dr. Jitendra Singh while addressing ‘The Meghalayan Age’ Tourism Conclave at Thadlaskein, near Jowai.

“The event was planned in a very big way but due to the advisory issued by the MoHFW, the event has been scaled down to a conclave, where different stakeholders were given an opportunity to delve into the immense potential that Meghalaya can open up to the visitors,” said Dr Singh.

Also read: Meghalayan Age event kicked off in West Jaintia Hills

Expressing gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Dr Singh said, “In the last five years, the government of India has provided adequate thrust for creating better infrastructure and promote the development of Northeast.”

“It is through synergistic approach of the government of India and the right motivation from the States concerns, the vision of the Prime Minister would be accomplished,” he added.

Also read: Centre has accorded required attention to Northeast: Conrad Sangma

Dr. Singh said under the leadership of the PM, DoNER ministry’s budget was increased two-fold.

“Prior to formation of the NDA Govt, the budget for NEC was roughly around 700 crore, however, we have today increased the budget to about 1400 cr. We have different plans to promote and ensure welfare of the region,” Dr. Singh said.

During the 10-day event, renowned cave explorer Brian Kharpran took selected guests on a unique caving experience.

Kharpran, who spoke during the conclave on Saturday said in the past two decades, they have explored 1700 caves about 514 km, which has led to discoveries of unique and exclusive species, the latest being the discovery of the largest cave-dwelling fish.

Rothell Khongsit from Khongthong, popularly known as the ‘whistling village’, talked about the uniqueness of their culture and lifestyle of the people.

He said the event has given them the platform to tell their stories to a very wide audience.

During the occasion, a book on tourism titled ‘Glimpses’ was also launched.

Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K. Sangma said the government of India has accorded required attention to the Northeast, which is paving way for concerted development and growth of the region.

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