Dr. Najma A. Heptulla, Hon’ble Governor of Manipur will be inaugurated the project “Development of North East Circuit: Imphal & Khongjom” implemented under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in the presence of Shri N Biren Singh, Chief Minister Manipur, Shri K.J. Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism and Smt. Rashmi Verma, Union Tourism Secretary in Imphal tomorrow. The above project is the first project under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme being inaugurated in the country.
Swadesh Darshan scheme is one of the flagship schemes of Ministry of tourism for development of thematic circuits in the country in a planned and prioritized manner. The scheme was launched in 2014 -15 and as on date, the Ministry has sanctioned 70 projects for Rs.5708.88 Crore to 29 States and UTs under the Scheme. 30 projects / major components of these projects are expected to be completed this year.
The project under inauguration was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism in September 2015 for Rs.72.30 Crores. The project covers two sites i.e. Kangla Fort and Khongjom. Kangla Fort is one of the most important historic and archaeological sites of Manipur located in the heart of the Imphal city. It served as the seat of Manipur’s power till 1891. Kangla has a special place in the hearts and minds of the people of Manipur. The old Govindajee Temple, outer and inner moat and other relics are perfect reflections of the rich art and architectural heritage of Manipur. Under this project Ministry has carried out works like Restoration & Improvement of Outer & Inner Moat and Rejuvenation of Sacred Ponds; Reconstruction of Old Rampart; Sound and Light Show, Construction of Rock Garden, Utility Block; Audio Guide, Eco Friendly Conveyance, Development of Crafts Houses and Parking on Naga Nullah; Polo Gallery; Reception and Ticket Counter. The above work has been carried out at a cost of Rs. 63.90 Crore. Khongjom is the place where the last war of resistance of Anglo Manipur War of 1891 was fought. Under the project, a Pedestrian bridge and rejuvenation of Kombirei Lake have been carried out for Rs.4.89 Crore.
Development of Tourism in North Eastern Region is a prime area of focus for the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry is carrying out an array of activities for development and promotion of tourism in the region. The Ministry is developing the tourism infrastructure in the region under its schemes of Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD. Together under both the schemes Ministry has sanctioned 15 projects covering all North Eastern states for Rs.1301.47 Crores.
The Ministry is carrying out an array of activities for development and promotion of tourism in the region. The efforts of Ministry have shown positive results and the Foreign tourist arrivals in the region have shown an upward trend over the years. The region received a total of 1.69 lakh foreign tourist visits during 2017 as against 1.45 lakh in 2016 registering a growth of 16.7% over 2016. The Domestic Tourist Visits reached to 95.47 lakhs in the year 2017 against 77.71 lakhs registering impressive double-digit growth of 22.8% over 2016. The increased number of tourists, in turn, has created better employment opportunity for the local population in the region.