Imphal: Chief minister N. Biren Singh graced the Virtual Cherry Blossom Mao Festival today. The festival which featured the picturesque landscape of Mao town adorned with beautiful Cherry Blossom flowers was streamed live from 2 pm on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Colourful traditional dances and special ballet titled ‘Cherry Nachom’ were other attractions of the virtual event.
Addressing the viewers worldwide from the Cabinet Hall of chief minister’s secretariat, Imphal, Biren said Mao is not only a major tourist destination but also a crucial hill station for reaching breathtaking tourist spots like Dzuko Valley and Mount Iso – the highest peak of Manipur and other places.
Stating that Dzuko is a national wealth, Biren said the wildfire that had ravaged the hill ranges of the area had died down with the sustained efforts of NDRF, Indian Air Force, SDRF State Police, Fire Service, Forest Department, District Administration, village volunteers, MMTA, Assam Rifles, etc.
He said that the Cherry Blossom Festival of Mao town had already been made a part of the Manipur Sangai Festival.
Though it is virtual event, this year’s festival would provide an excellent platform for promoting tourism even as everybody is constrained by the Covid-19 pandemic, Biren said.
He expressed his hope that the virtual event would give hope and inspiration to the viewers around the world during this difficult situation.
He said the festival in the coming years could be an international event. The state government is planning to invite delegations from countries like Japan where they also celebrate Sakura Festival.
The Virtual Cherry Blossom Mao Festival was jointly organized by the department of tourism, and Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), Shillong in association with Organizing Committee Flower Festival, Mao.
Tourism minister Oinam Lukhoi, chairmain Tourism Corporation of Manipur Ltd. (TCML) Ashab Uddin and tourism commissioner Devesh Deval also attended the event among others.