Dimly lit Khuman Lampak casts shadow on Sangai Fest
IMPHAL, 23rd Nov: Although the state government invests crore of rupees every year in organising the Manipur Sangai Festival so as to bring global recognition to the one and only Sangai Deer, apart from promoting the rich cultural heritage and tourism industry of Manipur, it seems this year’s edition of the Festival will not be up to the expected level. A prime example of this failure is the lack of electricity or any lighting system at Khuman Lampak, which is one of the venues of the festival.
Manipur Sangai Festival, the biggest tourism event of state is being organised by Manipur Tourism Department as main host and other line departments. The venues of the festival for Imphal area are Hapta Kangjeibung, Lamboi Khongnangkhong and Khuman Lampak sports complex.
However, in-spite of being one of the main venues, it seems the government has failed to pay any attention on how Sangai festival is organised at Khuman Lampak. The entrance gate in front of the Youth Hostel bears no repairs or renovations for the Sangai Festival while there is no lighting system set up from the Youth Hostel till the spot near the main stadium where the main event is being held, other than the existing street lamps and few decorative lights adorning on nearby plants and trees. As such, the entire area is covered under a blanket of darkness after dusk, concealing any visible sign of the festival being held at Khuman Lampak.
Presently, as part of Sangai Festival, Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association is organising various activities/events at Khuman Lampak sports complex such as spider net crossing, Burma rope bridge, artificial boulder climbing, rappelling, bungee trampoline jump, ATV biking, land zorbing, motor boat rafting, water zorbing, body zorbing, water rolling, horse riding, sumo wrestling demonstration, sports climbing, etc., for the entertainment of children and families.
However, as the state government has not provided proper and adequate electricity or lighting system at the venue, MMTA has been shouldering the responsibility to illuminate the venue and attract visitors. The areas where water zorbing, water rolling, motor boating, water surfing and rafting activities are set up is in complete darkness. If any unwanted incidents were to happen at the Boating canal, it would be a long time before anyone discovers the misfortune.
Furthermore, all song and dance events and facilities of children’s amusement park that were included last year to attract crowds are absent this year. As such, MMTA, which is the sub-host of the festival at Khuman Lampak, is left discontented, apart from facing a lot of inconveniencies and flak from the visitors.
Department of Youth Affairs and Sports (YAS) and MMTA were able to attract huge crowds to Khuman Lampak Sports Complex during last year’s festival by including various sport and adventure events. However, YAS decided not to take the job this year as pending liabilities of last year were not cleared till date, revealed a source. As a result, there has been a drastic drop in visitors count to Khuman Lampak, forcing the venue to sport a deserted look.
On top of this, there are no proper washroom facilities. Thus, the state government needs to pay serious attention to all issues at hand, if it wants to give more meaning and attract more visitors to this year’s Sangai Festival.