Mechukha has highest potential for tourism industry dev: Mein

MECHUKHA, 19 Mar: Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein said that “due to the remote location of Mechukha, there is no scope for industrial development in the place, unlike those in the foothill areas, but it has the highest potential for development of tourism industry.”

Attending the Neh-Nang Losar festival at Chupala here in Shi-Yomi district on Saturday, Mein said, “Mechukha has one of the most pious pilgrimage places in the state. The over 400-year-old pilgrimage place has the scope to be developed into a model eco-tourist town.”

The DCM pointed out that “there are several places like Mechukha in the state and many challenges, but we must convert these challenges into potential.”

He also noted that tourist flow in the state has increased manifold after the Covid pandemic and Arunachal Pradesh has become the most sought-after tourist destination among domestic tourists as most Indian tourists prefer to visit places within the country due to quarantine issues abroad.

Stating that Arunachal has the potential for ethnic and cultural tourism, religious tourism and nature and adventure tourism, Mein, however, said, “We need to facilitate communication, comfortable accommodation, hygienic food, and above all, we must show warm hospitality to the visitors.”

He informed that measures are underway to improve road communication and infrastructure development across the state. He also informed that Mechukha town will be connected with fixed-wing helicopter service under the UDAN scheme, “which will further increase the tourist footfall in the area.”

Saying that the government is working for protection, preservation and promotion of the state’s rich culture, he informed that an allocation of Rs 42 crores has been made to the indigenous & cultural affairs department for the 2022-23 financial year.

“We must bring our rich folklores in the written form and document the folksongs and folklores,” he said, and informed that registered priests will be paid honorariums by the government.

Highlighting the initiatives taken under the 2022-23 annual budget, he informed that several measures have been taken by the government to develop border villages “under the Integrated Development of Border Villages and Golden Jubilee Border Village Illumination Programme,” besides the initiative to provide mobile network connectivity in all the remote and border villages.

He also informed that a comprehensive project worth Rs 400 crores for connectivity and infrastructure development of border villages has been proposed to the central government.

Mein said the government would provide all required funds in different phases for internal roads development, district secretariats, electricity and water supply to all the new district headquarters, including Tato, the district headquarters of Shi-Yomi.

He assured also to “study the feasibility of hydropower projects in the area and develop a hydropower project, if found feasible, to meet the power requirement of Mechukha town and Tato.”

Legislative Assembly Speaker Pasang Dorjee Sona, who was also present, said that the standalone micro and mini hydels in the area are not sufficient to meet the power requirements of Mechukha township in the winter season due to decrease in the water current, coupled with increase in the use of electric appliances because of cold weather.

He therefore requested the DCM to set up a 1 to 2 mw hydropower project in the area to meet the power requirements of the area.

Cultural items, including folksongs and dances by local cultural troupes and songs by singer and composer from New York, USA, Tenzin Donsel, were some of the highlights of the festival.

Memba Sonam Losar Festival Celebration Committee general secretary Genjan Sona and Neh-Nang Cultural Development Society vice president Cheeden Goiba highlighted the importance of Neh-Nang Losar festival, which is celebrated to promote universal peace and prosperity.

Among others, the power minister’s adviser Balo Raja, the planning & investment minister’s adviser Jambey Tashi, the tax & excise minister’s adviser Nyamar karbak and Namsai MLA Chau Zingnu Namchoom were present on the occasion. (DCM’s PR Cell)