CHEERAPUNJEE, July 31 � Nature has painted Cheerapunjee in water colour, but ironically an outstanding luxury resort overlooking seven majestic waterfalls in the area stands like a painter�s dried-out canvas due to lack of water.
The Meghalaya Tourism department�s luxury resort built at a cost of Rs 2.80 crore at Mawblang locality of Cheerapunjee (Sohra) is being watered down because the government has failed to get a water connection.
Cheerapunjee receives the highest rainfall on Earth with average annual precipitation of 1,263 mm. Tourists from around the world flock to this place just to get soaked in this amazing spectacle of nature. Sadly, there are an estimated 25 rooms for tourists in the area.
An old government claim is to develop Cheerapunjee�s neglected tourism infrastructure on a priority basis. Building the resort has been just one of its �develop Cheerapunjee tourism� plans. However, the plans now seems like wasted pictures.
The Centrally-sponsored resort has everything going for it. The view is amazing. It sits pretty over the seven breathtaking waterfalls called the Nohsngithiang waterfalls.
It has twelve aesthetically-built cottages in three blocks. Two luxury cottages, a banquet hall and a restaurant. There is adequate parking space, moreover, all over the resort there are stone benches on different elevations for relaxation.
Tourism department officials, blame the villagers for not letting access to their water source for taking a connection for the resort. The villagers deny this allegation, saying none approached from the government side with such a request.
However, the officers from Sohra sub-division are trying their best to get the water connection. A sub-divisional official said on condition of anonymity that efforts should have been made to get permission for such connections when the construction work started.
�Now, with the project completed with full furnishing it is not a pretty sight to see it being wasted for water connection,� the official said.
A local resident, D Chyne, remains unamused. �This is how the disarrayed and directionless Tourism department works here. In no time the resort�s paint would wear down and its expensive fixtures lost. What can a single watchman do, when the government has failed,� he questions discouragingly.