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TURA: The celebration of 150th years of existence of Tura Township, the second largest town in the state will be observed sometime in the second week of December this year. This was decided in a steering committee meeting held on Friday at DRDA Hall in Tura where a decision was also taken to rename certain areas and landmarks of the town.
The celebration which was actually scheduled for December 1 2017 could not materialized then because of various constraints and particularly due to changes of officials effected in the district administration set up in view of the general election to the state assembly on 2018. An elaborate plan with multiple programmes was drawn up for the celebration then. Hence, taking forward of that decisions, it was decided to have it this year and with greater intensity and determination as desired by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, Tura Lok Sabha MP, Agatha K Sangma and North Tura MLA Thomas A Sangma.
Chairing the meeting, West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner, Ram Singh, in his opening remarks said that for Tura to have completed its 150 years of existence itself is an achievement and an event of sort and therefore, called for a befitting celebration in recognition and as tribute to all those who have contributed in whatever way in making of this beautiful town. He said that people had pointed out how Tura used to be cleaner and greener till few years ago and rued the negativity side of rapid urbanization. He therefore, stressed on the need for highlighting the past glory and pristine of the town during the entire course its celebration.
Welcoming the proposal for renaming of certain stigmatized localities associated with certain diseases, he said that names should reflect the culture and ethos of the community and relevant to the contemporary society adding that a consensus of all concerned must be evolved before renaming any place to which all members agreed in unison.
Coming back to the discussions on celebration of 150th year of Tura, L.R. Sangma, former DC of Tura, suggested getting the initial programmes started soon as according to her, forming of various committees and sub-committees for chalking out programmes are complicated, time consuming and difficult to materialized as members designated for such committees may not have time for coming to meetings. For her part, she suggested to organize a painting competition which could be taken up by the Art & Culture department.
Participating in the discussion, Sangra A Sangma, Professor of Don Bosco College Tura, gave his views on holding of seminars and other intellectual activities like debates on themes relevant to the celebration in the various noted schools and colleges of Tura. He also suggested a theme ‘Tura together, we can make a difference’ for the celebration.
David Ch Marak, President of New Tura Development Forum, said that celebration should visualize the ‘past, ‘present and ‘future’ of the status of Tura. Rakkan M. Sangma, Nokma of Akonggre localaity, asked if name ‘Tura’ could be reverted back to its original name of ‘Dura’ as according to him, name Tura is corrupted and word Dura was wrongly pronounced and misspelt by the British people.
Skylance G.Momin, President, Nokma Council, stressed on the need for publicise the few surviving heritage building like residence of Deputy Commissioner, Christian Mission Girls’ school etc as part of the celebration while C. N. Sangma, ADC & Project Director of DRDA, Tura, spoke about the importance of bringing out a souvenir of the celebration.
Another prominent citizen of Tura, Arup Nag, Central Puja Committee, Tura, deliberating in in the discussion expressed his opinion of having a tie up with ‘The Shillong Times’ for a programme who are due to organize a function as part of their Platinum Jubilee here in Tura soon. As such, decisions were taken for organizing series of programmes for celebration immediately after 2nd October for which a complete calendar shall be drawn up in next one week or so before it culminates in a grand celebration in December with Tura Winter Festival.