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Relocation of hawkers from PB likely within two weeks

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SHILLONG, March 19: The Shillong Municipal Board (SMB) is relocating as many as 200 hawkers from the Khyndai Lad area and the process is expected to be completed within two weeks.
“The latest update is very encouraging; the municipal board is completing the task of rehabilitating about 200 hawkers in the Khyndai Lad region in the first phase of rehabilitation of hawkers. That process should be over in two weeks,” informed Tourism Minister Paul Lyngdoh on Tuesday.
“Once that is completed, we should be in a position to redesign and revamp activities along the Khyndai Lad stretch,” he added.
Lyngdoh went on to inform that the Tourism department plans to take up activities to encourage busking by musicians once the hawkers are relocated elsewhere.
Further, the state government is also banking on redesigning and revamping activities at Khyndai Lad and adjacent areas to curb any illegal or immoral activities that are taking place.
“Once that happens, whatever illegal or immoral activities are taking place will be curbed to a great extent. Then you will have people coming into Khyndai Lad until late in the evening and once the area is lit up and properly occupied by people who attract visitors with their music, songs, art and craft, then the whole look of Khyndai Lad will definitely undergo a facelift,” Lyngdoh added.
State’s support
The tourism minister also informed that the state government has managed to garner quite a support from the central government and externally aided agencies for improvement of the tourism sector.
“Overall the state government is keen to sustain the efforts of the department to focus on high and low-volume tourists, which basically means we will rather go for quality tourist with the ability to spend rather than tourists with low budget and who rather adds to the littering and only increases the footfall in the state,” he said.
Informing that the department that has taken several infrastructural projects keeping that in mind, Lyngdoh said, “We would like to cater to that category of tourists who would stay for a minimum of three to four days, covering various tourism circuit and we have been getting a lot of support from the central government as well as externally aided agencies like ADB.”
It may be mentioned that an estimated 15 lakh domestic and foreign tourists had visited Meghalaya in 2023.
It is predicted that the tourism industry of Meghalaya is expected to grow to Rs 12,000 crore by 2028, while the annual footfall of visitors is set to increase to 20 lakh.
The state’s tourism industry was valued at Rs 1,600 crore in 2022 and is expected to grow by 10 per cent annually.

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