HAFLONG, April 19 - Jatinga village of Haflong, once the richest and cleanest village of the district with 100 per cent literacy, has failed to draw the attention of the development agencies as well as the local administration perhaps, but is still proud to be world famous for its unsolved �birds mystery�.
Once an official of World Health Organisation (WHO) of Sudan, DV Subrahmaniyam, said, �Jatinga, idyllic, clean and well planned.� �A model� it was villager�s right dues to be proud of. In winter, it bears the commendatory meaning for the village because the villages were repairing steps and roads in every winter spending their own village funds. But now the economical condition of Jatinga people have become worst since the declination of orange production and of course coupled with indifferent attitude of development agencies. Except for a few, most of the people are in hand-to-mouth condition.
Obasting Pachuan, the first elected member of NC Hills Autonomous Council and also former Chairman said that Jatinga village, which was established in 1905 by Late U lakhonbang Suchiang, never got any development scheme of IJDP or DRDA since it was the most advanced village of the district; everything was done by the villagers of their own.
Haflong, the only hill station in the State with scenic beauty, was popular no doubt, but became more popular because of Jatinga village. However, it was neglected for the reasons best known to them. In the name tourism also no concrete plan or programme was taken to enhance the economic condition which could be done easily by involving the local people for their sustainable livelihood.
Jatinga has to bear the brunt in the name of development, as for the construction of BG and NH-54 E, huge horticultural land of Jatinga people was destroyed. Now the people remain busy even in stone cutting to earn their daily income. To cope with this pathetic condition of the people of Jatinga, Pachuan suggested that since Jatinga is still the most popular tourists spot, the people of Jatinga should be engaged in the tourism activities so that they could earn their livelihood through tourism. The Department of Tourism should encourage the people of Jatinga to convert their houses in to home-stays, should train youths in tourism activities. But at the same time there should be some mechanism so that people of Jatinga get the benefit of the tourism otherwise tourism could not be a successful one.
He also said that the people of Jatinga never misuse any government fund rather they use it in the fullest possible way.
Moril Masa, former Executive Member of NC Hills Autonomous, in-charge tourism said that during his tenure he had tried a lot for the development of tourism in Jatinga but was not encouraging may be due to lack of knowledge.
He also suggested that Jatinga is the prime place of attraction for the tourists in Dima Hasao, therefore tourism activities should be encouraged in Jatinga.
Olbinus Tariang, ex-Army man, who have visited different places of the country said, �Yes, Jatinga could be made the most sought for tourist spot in the State, because it has every potentialities to be most attractive place for the tourists but prime aim should be to benefit the local people, otherwise it would not be successful and this way also the degraded economical condition of the Jatinga people could be enhanced to a great extent.