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MoS Tourism Alphons terms Nagaland ‘God’s own paradise’

MoS Tourism Alphons terms Nagaland ‘God’s own paradise’
KJ Alphons being draped with traditional costume by chief minister Neiphiu Rio and H Khehovi Yepthomi. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, DEC 5 (NPN) | Publish Date: 12/5/2018 11:56:33 AM IST

Delighted with its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty, Union minister of State for tourism KJ Alphons heaped praise on Nagaland by stating that it was “God’s own paradise” and whose hospitality could not be found anywhere in the world.

Attending the fifth day of the 10-day ongoing Hornbill Festival, Alphons said he spoke with Union civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu seeking helicopter services from Guwahati to Dimapur, Dimapur to Kohima, Kohima to Imphal and Imphal to Guwahati. 

He said the project cost or losses incurred would be borne by the Union tourism ministry as “we need to bring lots of people to Nagaland.”

Expressing joy to be part of the festival, he said he had held a desire for many years to be at the Hornbill Festival, “which was pride of the nation”, adding the diversity of the country was beautiful.

Alphons remarked that Nagaland represented everything about the country – colour, music, dance, textiles and food. 

He said the Nagas were the “most colourful people in the world”.

Mentioning about the projects sponsored by the Central government, the Union minister said two tourism projects were financed by the Centre, of which the first phase was completed and that projects worth Rs 100 crore were on the verge of completion.

He said more interesting projects were in pipeline and expressed his willingness to pour more money for tourism promotion.

Pointing out that tourism was the future for the Northeast, including Nagaland, Alphons said Government of India (GoI) had sanctioned about Rs 1,351 crore for the region, which would be the window of the east and primary focus of the Look East.

He said there nothing felt more beautiful than to be in the Northeast and under the sun, even as he advocated that millions of people must visit Nagaland.

Highlighting the achievements of the Central government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the last four-and-a-half years, he said many things were done that were not done in the last 65 years for the poor people. 

He said GoI had spent Rs 15 lakh crore in infrastructure, constructed 95 million toilets, opened 300 million accounts for poor people and transferred Rs 5,33,000 in their accounts and electrified every village of the country.

He claimed that India had became the first country in the world under Modi government to provide free healthcare service to every poor citizen of the country, pointing out that no country had been able to do this except India.

Maintaining that India was among the fastest growing economies of the world, the minister commented that the country was at centre stage of the world, while reiterating GoI’s determination that every citizen in the country should have a dignified life and provided with basics necessities.

Mentioning that 84 million people were employed in the tourism sector, Alphons claimed that during the last four-and-a-half years the sector had created 13.92 million jobs. He further stated that as per the latest tourism council report India was ranked no. 3 in tourism, after China and the US, earning 234 billion dollars and contributed 7% to the country’s GDP and 13 % of the employment. 

He said Hornbill Festival was the best in the world and that it would be further promoted in the global map to ensure that millions of people attended the festival in the next five years

Meanwhile, the fifth day of the festival was hosted by school education adviser KT Sukhalu, while director general of National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayat Raj under the Union Ministry of Rural Development, WR Reddy was the special guest.

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