Govt targets more audiences; free shuttle, WiFi on menu

STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 10th Nov: As hectic preparations are underway for the upcoming annual Manipur Sangai Festival, the state government is targeting to attract twice the number of visitors this year as compared to last year’s edition. Moreover, free shuttle service fitted with GPS trackers to and fro from the four main venues and free WiFi service in the main venue would be provided.

Addressing media persons in this regard at the conference hall of Old Secretariat, MLA Dr Sapam Ranjan, who is also the chairman of Manipur Tourism Corporation Limited, said that the people of Manipur will witness grandest Manipur Sangai Festival from November 21 to 30, 2017.

He said that the festival this year will be held at Hapta Kangjeibung, Mapal Kangjeibung, Lamboi Khongnangkhong, Khuman Lampak Sports Complex, Sendra, Takmu Water Sports Complex and Keibul Lamjao. The festival expects to welcome over 50,000 attendees this year including national leaders, policy makers, industry experts, business delegates and exhibitors from over 20 countries like Bhutan, Cambodia, Egypt, Haiti, Japan, Laos, Maldives, Myanmar, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Taiwan, Turkey, UAE and Zimbabwe.

In view of the multiple venues, the tourism department has organised a free shuttle service, comprising 40 Tata Wingers fitted with GPS devices to shuttle between the four main venues- Hapta Kangjeibung, Mapal Kangjeibung, Lamboi Khongnangkhong and Khuman Lampak Sports Complex. CCTV cameras will also be installed at all the main venues, he said.

He sought co-operation from the general public and advised the youth of the state for responsible driving.

He also appealed to the public to abide by parking rules for better traffic management and smooth passage of the visitors during the festival. Movement of commercial and private heavy vehicles will be restricted in Imphal city during the festival and security arrangements around the city will be beefed up in order to ensure safety of the visitors.

The department would also be offering free Wi-Fi services in and around the main venue at Hapta Kangjeibung through Reliance Jio. Media persons with DIPR issued Id-cards will be given free entry to the venues this year as a step towards giving increased media coverage to the festival, he informed.

President of India Ram Nath Kovind will be inaugurating the festival this year at Hapta Kangjeibung. The venue will feature an array of cultural dances, songs and other performances apart from fun activities for children throughout the festival. Besides, photography exhibition, MTF World War II exhibition, 'Sangai Open Mic' will also form part of the programmes to be showcased at Hapta Kangjeibung, the main venue, this year. In addition, there will be regular cultural performances by artistes from the different tribes of Manipur and from other states as well as international artistes and cultural troupes throughout the festival at Bhagyachandra Open Air Theatre in Hapta Kangjeibung.

A half marathon event in three categories - Sangai Run (21 kms), Loktak Run (7.5 kms) and School Run (3.5 kms) in Bishnupur district on November 19 will be part of the curtain raiser event. The event is expected to draw attendance of over 1,000 invitees and marathon runners from Manipur and other states as well as international runners.

In its effort to showcase the immense tourism potential of Loktak Lake and its adjoining areas, the government will hold a cultural event with the theme centred around the culture of Loktak Lake, modern polo and the endangered brow-antlered deer Sangai on the evenings of the November 22 and 23 at Takmu Water Sports Complex at Loktak Lake. The event is expected to be a first of its kind in Manipur with 3D laser projectors lighting up the sky and forming several patterns that will represent Manipur’s distinct and unique culture and traditions. The venue at Takmu Water Sports Complex will also host several water sports activities like water skiing, sailboard, wind surfing and local boat races from November 22 to 25.

Moreover, the state is going to host the North East Development Summit for the first time during Manipur Sangai Festival this year and President Ram Nath Kovind will inaugurate the summit.

Khuman Lampak Sports Complex will host several indigenous sports events such as Mukna Kangjei, Yubi Lakpi, Mukna, Cheibi, Thang Ta, Kang and other sports like Sepak Takraw and Muay Thai. Other fun activities like horse riding for children (Archery Field), Tethered Hot Air Ballooning (3 balloons at the Main Stadium), Raft Boating, Water Zorbing, Spider Net, Burma Bridge, Boulder Climbing, Land Zorbing, ATV bike and Bungee Trampoline will also be conducted there.

In addition to hundreds of stalls selling products from Manipur, different states and abroad, tethered Hot Air Ballooning will be an attraction at Lamboi Khongnangkhong. The venue will host the biggest number of commercial stalls from both within and outside the country at the festival. Apart from these venues, Mapal Kangjeibung (Polo Ground) in the heart of the city will be the main attraction with polo matches between teams from Manipur representing India and other countries. A boat race (Hiyang Tanaba) will also be conducted on November 26 at the south-western part of Kangla Moat where the boat racers will be dressed in their indigenous attires.

Keeping in view of the large number of traffic movements expected during the upcoming festival, state police has charted out routes that will help ease the flow of traffic during the festival. The department will also ensure safety of the visitors through 24x7 Helpline Number for the districts of Imphal East, Imphal West and Bishnupur. For police assistance, visitors to the festival may contact SP Imphal West (9436279997); SP Bishnupur (9862067893); Lamboi Khongnangkhong & Khuman Lampak control room (0385-2450214); Hapta Kangjeibung control room (0385- 2452669); and Bishnupur control room (03879-222339).

Entry tickets to main venue at Hapta Kangjeibung will be priced at Rs 30 (adult) and Rs 20 (uniformed students) and for Khuman Lampak and Lamboi Khongnangkhong it will be priced at Rs 20 (Adult) and Rs 10 (Uniformed Students). For tethered hot air balloon flights, tickets will be priced at the rate of Rs 250 (Uniformed Students) and Rs 500 (Adults). Tickets will be available at all venues of the event. Tickets will also be available at various counters at Kongba, Singjamei, Lilong, Kwakeithel, Keishampat, Uripok, Lalambung, Khoyathong and Lamlong. Online tickets are also available at, Dr Ranjan informed.

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