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Tabletop tourism

by IT Web Admin
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The immense tourism potential of the state is repeatedly established and an over-represented topic without much to show for all the brouhaha till date. The pathetic attempts of the state government at displaying a semblance of enthusiasm and seriousness in developing tourism in the state has fallen flat on its face, more for the lack of attention to details and a systematic and pragmatic approach for a long term solution rather than anything else. While ‘exposure tours’ abroad by elected representatives and bureaucrats have been a regular feature of the state government spending huge sums which are obviously juggled with practiced ease, there is precious little to show for it in terms of the knowledge and experience such ‘tours’ might have induced in the practical world so far. If we are to sample any so called Circuit Houses or state tourist guest houses and inspect their present condition, the whole sorry state of affairs of the state regarding Tourism will be glaringly evident, without any exception. The genesis of such sordid practice lies with an indulgent administration readily pliable to the whims and fancies of the powerful and the mighty of the land, and by extension, their cronies who trumpets their relations and connections. The emphasis of any developmental schemes and projects is not on efficient and timely completion with strict control and maintenance of quality but rather on maximizing profit and pilfering resources. The result- shoddy work,
unusable and unstable structures, incomplete projects. That every project and scheme being awarded to the state has become a ground for feeding frenzies of the well-connected, the favoured and the idealism-spouting desperados cannot be stressed enough, nor is the need for any special mention since such practices has become the norm rather than exception. While the tourism scenario might look bleak for the state given the undesirable extraneous pressures of numerous factors hampering the execution and completion of activities, yet the effort of the central government to try and develop tourism have not ceased. Under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme launched last January, an amount of Rs89.66 crore has been sanctioned for Manipur out of a total of Rs 821 crore for the North east including Sikkim, out of which Rs 6.63 has already been released. The sanction has been made to develop Tourist Circuits
at Imphal, Moirang and Khongjom. While it would be wishful thinking to assume that ‘World Class’ tourists facilities can be developed with the amount sanctioned, with care and iligence, substantial improvements and infrastructures can be made which have basic yet functioning facilities to cater to tourists both domestic and foreign. The state, and certainly the tourists do not need opulence, but would certainly be looking for clean and hygienic facilities. This is where the concept of maintenance and upkeep, alien to personnel engaged in government domain need to get acquaint with and practice in earnest. More than the quantity of funds sanctioned, it is the attitude of the state government and its implementing department which will determine the practicality and sustainability of the tourism sector in the state. But with the present ‘Contract Culture’ pervading every public department and activities, progress is a concept being relegated to oblivion.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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