JOWAI, Dec 3: As part of the celebrations of Meghalaya’s 50th year of Statehood attainment and 75th years of Independence, the Department of Arts and Culture, Department of Sports and Youth Affairs, Meghalaya in collaboration with the office of the Sub- Divisional Officer (Civil), Amlarem Civil Sub- Division and Seng Samla Shnongpdeng Cultural and Sports organisation held a one-day water sports festival at Umngot river at Shnongpdeng on Friday.
Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui attended the festival as Chief Guest in the presence of Commissioner and Secretary of Arts and Culture Department, Government of Meghalaya, F R Kharkongor, Secretary and Director, information and Public Relations Ms Matsiewdor War Nongbri, Assistant Director Sports and Youth Affairs, PB War Nongbri, Sub- Divisional Officer (Civil) , Amlarem Sub- Division Abhilash Bhandaral , West Jaintia Hills Superintendent of police Bikram D Marak besides others including the elders of Shnongpdeng village.
Addressing the gathering at the festival Rymbui appreciated the efforts of the organising team for conceptualizing this programme in Umngot river at Shnongpdeng Village.
“Shnongpdeng Village and River Umngot are well-known tourist spots where it is essential to continue maintaining its cleanliness and incorporate hospitality habits to make the visitors and tourists comfortable during their visit and stay”, Rymbui said adding as citizens we need to encourage and take part in all development and upgradation taken by the government with positive mindset.
He informed that Rs. 20 lakhs had been sanctioned to repair the hanging bridge across the Umngot River at Shnongpdeng.
The former Deputy Commissioner, F R Kharkongngor who had taken important steps to develop Shongpdeng village as one of the well-known tourist destinations in the district during his tenure, informed that the main objective of the festival is to promote tourism and water sports activities in the areas.
Kharkongor urged the villagers to continue cooperating with government for further development. The festival was marked by events like boating, swimming, water polo, boat tableau presentation and zip lining.