Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on February 12 laid the foundation stone for a tourism infrastructure development project at Siju in South Garo Hills district.
Siju, locally known as Dobakkol or bat cave with its impressive stalagmites and stalactites, is also known for one of the longest caves in the Indian sub-continent and contains some of the finest river passages to be found anywhere in the world.
The project is estimated at about Rs 9 crore and is funded by the Union tourism ministry under its scheme — Swadesh Darshan.
Laying the foundation for the ambitious project that would upscale the tourism potential of the region, Sangma said: “It is an endeavour of the government to promote tourism in the state and the government is putting its trust in an area that has the potential to attract visitors.”
Talking about the beauty of Siju and its rich resources that can draw tourists, he said the government is rolling out marketing and branding of different tourist spots of the state that is aimed to attract tourists.
Sangma also inaugurated a tourist lodge at Siju that was funded by the North Eastern Council (NEC), DoNER ministry. The lodge has 13 rooms to accommodate visitors.
“The identified tourist spots will be given a facelift under the Swadesh Darshan scheme. We are confident that the true potential of our destination will be realised and the visitors will be able to experience Meghalaya in its best,” Sangma added.
On behalf of Tura Lok Sabha MP Agatha K Sangma, the chief minister also laid the foundation stone for construction of 10.78 km stretch of the road from Darang Boldak near Nongalbibra in South Garo Hills. The construction includes a bridge spanning about 145.38 metres.