Wokha range under tourism radar
DIMAPUR, MARCH 20
THE ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) has decided to fund one of the biggest tourism projects to be undertaken in the recent years for any single concentrated area in Nagaland, the ‘integrated tourism project in Englan range’ in Wokha.
The ministry of Development of North Eastern Region has approved Rs. 3.71 crore toward building tourist facilities and infrastructure in Englan range, and envisaged to be completed within two years from the approval. Interestingly, Englan range straddles the northern villages running along the Doyang Hydro Electric project areas where the recently-in-news Amur Falcons have been roosting during their annual migration. There have been talks in the recent past about developing the area as a tourist hub as part of conservation efforts to conserve the migratory birds.
The development arm of the ministry, the North Eastern Council (NEC), has approved the fund for the development of the tourist hub, with funding ratio of 90% by the council, and 10% to be contributed by the government of Nagaland.
The official order of the advisor of the DoNER’s banking and tourism department was signed on March 3. A copy of the order was received here on Wednesday. The order says that the council’s share of funds would be Rs. 270. 63 lakhs while the share of the government of Nagaland to the development of the project would be Rs. 30.08 lakhs. The project is to be implemented by the department of Tourism of the state.
The state has been tasked with ensuring “proper upkeep”, maintenance and operation of the assets and facilities created for the project. The components of the funds, according to the official order, shall be used for the development of housing and hospitality infrastructure, sanitation facilities, parking lots and tourist amenities, museums, facilities for adventure activities, and infrastructure for recreation.
The secretary of the state’s department of Tourism is required to submit a ‘quarterly physical progress report’ and financial expenditure reports by the 15th of each alternate month. “the Tourism department, government of Nagaland, shall get the works duly and properly monitored on monthly/ quarterly basis vis-a-vis monthly / quarterly target as per detailed action plan realistically formulated so that there is no scope for time and cost overrun, “ the ministry’ order said.
The ministry has also cautioned that the funds are meant solely for the integrated tourism project and should not be diverted. “The funds should be utilized only for the purpose for which it has been approved. No diversion of fund for any other purpose would be allowed,” the ministry said.
The government of Nagaland is also advised that any reoccurring expenditure after the completion of the project shall be borne by the state only. The order was appended by the advisor of the ministry, G Chintey.
Interestingly, the ministry of Tourism had also sanctioned Rs. 64 lakhs for the development of a tourist resort in Doyang in 2005-2006. The current status of the Doyang “tourist resort” is could not be known at the time of filing this news report.