CM discusses sustainable devp, tourism with NITI Aayog

SHILLONG: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma held a meeting on Monday with NITI Aayog members headed by VK Saraswat and discussed about tourism and improvement of agriculture.
An official statement said the meeting held at the Secretariat discussed various steps for sustainable development of the region taking into consideration the issues faced. The meeting stressed on developing the Himalayan region as Meghalaya is part of it.
Sustainable tourism, spring shed development, development of agro- forestry, plantation of oil seeds during fallow were some of the points that were discussed during the meeting.
The chief minister said the focus of the government is to develop the state on a sustainable model.
Giving the example of Chandigre in Garo Hills, Conrad informed that such places of tourist and strategic importance are being developed where soil conservation, agriculture, tourism, horticulture, forestry, food processing and community and rural development will be integrated.
) “We are developing such places to a have complete sustainable economic zone taking care of the biodiversity, environment conservation and issues such as shifting cultivation while providing the people with alternative and sustainable means of livelihood,” he said.
The members of the NITI Aayog informed that there is a need to have centres for the development of the Himalayan region to sensitise and create awareness of the region. Education, migration of people to plain areas, shifting cultivation and drying of spring sheds were some of the major concerns.
The members recommended that there is an urgent need of mapping and creating database for the development of spring sheds.
Besides oilseeds, the members suggested plantation of millet during fallow in agriculture sector, promoting home gardens and complimenting the home gardens with animal husbandry and integrating tourism.
According to the members, strong monitoring guidelines while promoting responsible tourism, is the need of the hour for creating sustainable development in the state.