Meghalaya is known for its rich biodiversity, flora and fauna all over the country and abroad. The forests are considered to be among the richest botanical habitats of Asia where a small portion of the forest is known as “sacred groves”.
These are small pockets of ancient forest that have been preserved by the communities for hundreds of years due to religious and cultural beliefs. These forests are reserved for religious rituals and generally remain protected from any exploitation. These sacred groves harbor many rare plant and animal species. But, a serious problem is the lack of proper transportation facilities .
Unfortunately, the tourism sector does not seem to perform to its potential as improvement of the approach roads of various sites pertaining to tourist interests remain largely in bad shape.
The state is blessed with places of tourist attraction and is coming up like never before, however the bad condition of approach road to the various tourist destinations is making many tourists grumble.
“It’s lovely to be here and I love to visit Cherra. I just hope the roads would improve a little,” said Vijay Gupta from Uttar Pradesh currently on a vacation in the city.
Ahmed Sohail from Goa laughingly said, “Yes good roads is always an added bonus for travellers like us and our backs who have been on the road for hours.
Managed and well maintained by the State Forest Department, Thangkharang Park park on Mawsmai – Shella Road – about 8 kms from Sohra is a popular tourist spot blessed with many rare and exotic orchids and some rare species of plants endemic to the area and a panoramic view of the plains of Bangladesh has been a major tourist attraction. However, the few kms approach road to the park is in a bad shape with most of the upper layer either eroded or washed off and the reasons could vary from rainfall to lack of attention for maintenance.
“Convergence of all the aligned department from tourism to PWD and PHE is required to push the tourism sector forward,” said Parliamentary Secretary, Tourism, Arts & Culture, Kennedy Cornelius Khyriem further adding that, “Tourism sector cannot stand alone”.
Admitting that such lapses works as a drawback for the tourism sector, Khyriem said that either he or is official will take immediate note and inspect the area.
He further informed that inline with the Chief Ministers move to turn the state into a tourism hub, various initiatives have been taken by the department and one such initative is the Rongmesek village in Ri-Bhoi where around 90 lakhs was invested in upgrading the infrastructure besides beautification and road.
“There is a lake and a view point at Rongmesek and we have made a boat house and a lodge,” he informed.
Informing about more such initiatives being carried out a sites with viable tourism potential, Khyrime said that government has been working on another Shadryngi waterfall in Jaintia Hills.