Govt plans facelift for Siju

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  • Published 20.02.12

Shillong, Feb. 19: The state is planning to give a facelift to Siju, a tourist spot in South Garo Hills known for its scenic beauty, large number of caves and water bodies.

Chief minister Mukul Sangma, who attended an entrepreneur’s conclave yesterday organised by the South Garo Hills district administration in collaboration with Meghalaya Integrated Basin Development and livelihood Programme in Siju, said a committed team would be entrusted with the multi-faceted development programmes in Siju and adjacent Rongshu Agal, among other surrounding orange-growing areas, to boost eco-tourism and livelihood generation activities.

Sangma also took time to attend the annual community fishing organised by the residents of Siju in the Dabat Wari area of the district.

Impressed by the people’s ability to preserve their age-old traditional practice of community fishing, Sangma said it showed that the people of Siju had an inherent ability of being successful entrepreneurs.

Chairman of Garo Hills Autonomous District Council Alphonse Sangma said the practice of community fishing in Siju was initiated by the first chief minister of Meghalaya, late Williamson Sangma, around 50 years back.

The chief minister advocated the need to integrate traditional skills with government schemes under the Meghalaya Integrated Basin Development and Livelihood generation programme, which include aqua-culture mission, apiculture, and horticulture. He said Rs 1,100 crore had been earmarked for the development and promotion of pisciculture in the state.

Under the Meghalaya Integrated Basin Development Livelihood Programme, an institute of entrepreneurship had been established in the state, Sangma said, adding that a mission intervention programme under horticulture for promotion of spices, especially turmeric, black pepper and chilli would also be set up for Garo hills.

Sangma said an international transit point had been set up in Dalu, West Garo Hills, to boost trade and commerce.

The principal secretary in charge of soil and water conservation department, R.N. Mishra, said an entrepreneur intervention scheme would be set up where entrepreneurs would be able to easily acquire financial assistance from banks.