DoNER Ministry ready to fund Shillong Airport expansion

Conrad meets Jitendra Singh, discusses tourism promotion

NEW DELHI: DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh and Tura MP Conrad Sangma on Monday discussed several ways to promote tourism in Meghalaya.
The DoNER Ministry offered to fund the extension of the airstrip at Shillong Airport to make it fully functional.
The Civil Aviation Ministry has also been approached to extend the facility at the airport and at the same time, increase the number of helicopter flights, Singh told Sangma and a group of professionals accompanying him.
The expansion of Shillong Airport has been stalled because a case is still pending in the Supreme Court and the Ri Bhoi district administration is seeking guidance from the apex court on whether the airport can be developed despite the case.
Sangma’s meeting with Singh on Monday was focused on promotion of tourism in Meghalaya and other parts of the North East.
The Minister, who had earlier pitched for more home-stays in Meghalaya as well as other northeastern states, again stressed on such facilities.  Singh was given an audio-visual presentation about the road map for making Shillong a tourist attraction on global platform and thereby promoting the entire region through a similar strategy.
The presentation highlighted the various options and itineraries with focus on a three-day holiday capsule incorporating cultural activities, meditation centres, music workshops, experience of food cuisines and trekking.
Singh said some of the music groups from the State can be made part of the tourism bonanza capsule.
He pointed out that Shillong had not received the kind of attention as a tourism hub as it had deserved. This, he said, “is an irony as Shillong was always the original capital of the North East from the days of the British Empire to the post-Independence era of undivided Assam”.
But he assured that the Centre has done its best to fast track and make up for the past lapses.

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