Meghalaya eyeing heritage tourism, to open small museum in historic building: CM, ET TravelWorld

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<p>Conrad K. Sangma</p>
Conrad K. Sangma

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Tuesday stressed on leveraging the tourism potential of heritage sites in Shillong and other parts of Meghalaya, and added that there is a plan to open a small museum in a portion of the historic old Assembly building in the capital city.

Sangma said this in response to a query from PTI held on the sidelines of the 11th International Tourism Mart that kicked off this evening in Shillong.

Shillong, which was the capital of undivided Assam, is nicknamed the ‘Scotland of the East’ and is known for its historical importance and pristine natural beauty

The three-day Mart seeks to put the focus on the tourism potential of the northeast, particularly Meghalaya which is the host state.

“I think a generic policy to ensure that these kinds of heritage sites are promoted from a tourist aspect, is definitely part of the overall strategy,” he said.

“What is important is that we are bringing in different stakeholders together and really trying to discuss and connect different dots together out here. So, that is the purpose of today’s programme,” he said.

Shillong’s International Tourism Mart to be hosted as a ‘Green Event’

As per the Ministry of Tourism data, 16 projects have been sanctioned in the North East states under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme costing INR 1309 crore. A total of 15 tourist destinations are also being taken up in the region for development under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme 2.0 with an objective to develop sustainable and responsible destinations with a tourist and destination-centric approach.

“The Legislative Assembly building site (in Shillong)… you are aware that the Assembly (building) got burnt almost about 20 years back. And therefore not much left of it. But we have not touched it, and left it as it is because we had to do some of the assembly work there,” he said during a press interaction. “But as soon as we shift to the new assembly site whose construction is going on… By September 2024, we expect to inaugurate it,” he said.

Sangma said the old building, a British era structure, was used in undivided Assam and has a lot of history, he added.

“Definitely we have a plan along with the Speaker to have a small museum or some kind of a site there where we could have some section of the area – maybe not the whole area,” Sangma said.

Raj Bhavan building and Rabindranath Tagore’s house also have heritage value, the chief minister said, adding that there are many such sites.

Asked about the state’s strategy to balance tourism-related development and environment protection, he said the state has been focussing on sustainable tourism and ecotourism.

The government is also ensuring that it creates policies that do not put enormous pressure on certain tourist sites, Sangma said.

  • Published On Nov 22, 2023 at 08:28 AM IST

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