President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the biggest annual tourism festival of Manipur – The Sangai Festival in Imphal on Tuesday. The president cut the ceremonial ribbon to mark the opening of the festival in the presence of hordes of dignitaries.
Speaking at the opening ceremony held at Bhagyachandra Open Air Theatre, the President said, “The festival is the perfect showcase of cultural diversity of Manipur comprising its various communities and beautiful social fabric”.
“Manipur is India’s window to South East Asia and a key player in Union Government’s Act East Policy. As a result, there is a concentrated effort to quickly develop connectivity projects”, the President added.
“In this regard, the most prominent development is the construction of India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway. In addition, an air cargo terminal is being planned at Imphal airport”, he further stated.
First Lady Savita Kovind, Governor Najma Heptulla, Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge) K. Alphons, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Nagaland Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang also graced the function as guests of honor while Chief Minister N. Biren Singh was the functional president.
The 10-day Sangai Festival is an effort to showcase the rich culture and traditions besides promoting state’s handloom and handicrafts.
Informing that the NDA government has given thrust to tourism sector, Alphons said “Rs. 169 crore has been sanctioned for development of tourism in the North East region so far.”
Speaking at the occasion, Manipur chief minister said the northeastern states could work together on the idea of a pan North East Tourism Circuit.
“The state government would approach the Union Tourism Ministry with some projects including overall tourism development of Loktak area, cable car projects and development of wellness centres and strengthening of tourism infrastructure in the hills of the State”, he said.
The most unique feature in this edition of the festival is the showcase of culture, art forms, cuisine, handloom and handicrafts of partner States of Madhya Pradesh and Nagaland under ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’.
The 10-day festival will end on November 30.