IMPHAL, March 4 � The foundation stone for three mega tourism projects including the first ever integrated cable car and lake side tourism development at Loktak, the largest fresh water lake in entire North-east region, was laid in Manipur today.
Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh laid the foundation stones for two mega projects � Integrated Cable Car and Lakeside Project and Development of Water Tourist Resort and Sendra Hillock, Water Sports Complex at Takmu in Manipur�s Bishnupur district while the Secretary Pravez Dewan of Union Ministry of Tourism for the Hotel Management Catering Technology & Applied Nutrition at Nongmaiching foothill in Imphal East district.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism and Sports Mairembam Prithviraj and Thanga MLA Tongbram Mangibabu, Chief Secretary PC Lawmkunga, Additional Chief Secretary RR Rashmi, Principal Secretary (Tourism) Rajeshkumar, Director Shyamlal and others attended the foundation laying ceremony at Sendra.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Ibobi said that the mega tourism projects will be taken up in consultation with the expert�s opinions. If necessary public opinion will be sought, Ibobi added.
�The 3-km long Sendra to Chaoba hills will be connected with cable car (as per the project),� he said. �The step to connect the Karang (an island in Loktak Lake) will also be taken in a phase manner�.
According to the Tourism Secretary Pravez Dewan, the Union Tourism Ministry is trying to release 9 per cent of it�s fund to Manipur for the mega projects.
The government is also planning to take up the said projects on a priority basis, he added.
Earlier, in an interaction with the stake holders of the tourism industry in the State, the visiting official said that Manipur has too many talents but unfortunately it has too little audience.
He also expressed his desire to train the Manipuri youths as tourist guides (for Chinese and Koreans) for their placement in other parts of the country. �One Chinese or Korean guide can easily earn an IAS officer�s salary within six days,� he informed and added that the Tourism Ministry also agreed to develop a World War II memorial museum in Manipur.