Thursday, July 25, 2024

Govt mulls major tourism boost for Umiam Lake


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By Our Reporter
SHILLONG, June 20: The Meghalaya government has unveiled an ambitious plan to transform Umiam Lake into a premier tourist destination, complete with enhanced facilities and helicopter services.
In a presentation to the Cabinet ministers on Thursday, the government outlined its comprehensive strategy to rejuvenate the scenic lake and elevate it as a key attraction in the Northeast. Tourism Minister Paul Lyngdoh detailed the plans, which include introducing new amenities, entertainment zones, and upgraded accommodations to attract more visitors.
The government has secured approximately 300 acres of land from the Forest department for the development project. “We aim for Umiam to be a major tourist attraction not just in Meghalaya, but across the entire Northeast,” Lyngdoh stated.
The project will emphasise water sports, walking spaces near Lum Nehru Park, and a variety of entertainment and adventure activities. Addressing environmental concerns, Lyngdoh mentioned that the Power department has been tasked with devising a desiltation plan, which is expected to commence within the next six months.
In response to the High Court of Meghalaya’s restrictions on construction around Umiam Lake, Lyngdoh assured that the expansion would avoid areas that could potentially infringe upon water bodies, focusing instead on hillside development.
Despite the challenges, particularly in the road sector, the government is prepared to invest significantly to revitalise the lake. Additionally, there are plans to introduce helicopter services connecting Umiam with key tourist circuits such as New Shillong Township and Sohra, aiming to attract high-value tourists.
“Connecting these areas by air will bring in tourists who spend more, although the overall footfall might be less,” Lyngdoh explained.
The government’s comprehensive plan promises to position Umiam Lake as a premier destination, drawing more visitors and boosting Meghalaya’s tourism sector.


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