Shirui Lily Festival begins in Manipur’s Ukhrul

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Imphal: After two years of break due to Covid-19 pandemic, the 4th edition of the State Level Shirui Lily Festival was inaugurated by Manipur governor La. Ganesan at Shirui Village ground on Wednesday in the presence of the chief minister N. Biren Singh.

The state department of tourism in collaboration with the Ukhrul district administration and Shirui Village Authority scheduled to organise the programme till May 28.

The festival will be mainly held at Shirui Village ground which will be cultural and stalls of various traditional products. The other location will be at Bakshi ground at Dungrei which will take up Shirock, an evening singing competition from various bands all across the country.

The festival is annually celebrated in Manipur and features music, food, traditional games and other cultural activities which aims to increase awareness about this rare flower and develop sustainable and responsible tourism in Manipur. The Lily, which blooms in late May to early June has become a well known plant to the world because of its rarity. The flower is foundonlyon top of the Shirui Hill of Ukhrul district in Manipur. He further stated that this flower needed proper scientific study so that this reknown flower can continue to thrive in its original habitat, Ganesan said.

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He informed the ICAR has taken up tissue culture of this plant and hope to perpetuate this plant not only in the original habitat but also in laboratory conditions. The focus on the global warming and climate change and its impact on the Lily including remedial measures is laudable and felt it’s now most timely.

“Shirui Lily Festival if marketed properly can become a tourist attraction. It will not only create awareness about the need for protection of environment which need to be targeted to our own people but it can attract tourist which will not only improve the well being of the local population but can also bring in advanced knowledge and expertise to improve the environment,” the governor said.

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Not only the Lily but the monsoon flowers of Shirui range and the Rhododedron can be marketed, he added.

He wished for a successful week long programme.

Biren said 46 crores have been sanctioned under the Minority Affairs, PMJVK scheme, for the construction of Shirui Heritage Village and upgradation of Bakshi ground. The said project will soon be taken place. He also informed constructions of cable cars at Loktak and Shirui are in the pipeline. Referring to upgradation of Pettigrew College to a University, one of the oldest colleges in the state, he said one more bus have recently been given. Moreover constructions in the college are in full progress now.

The government will not compromise for quality. Misappropriation of funds and projects taken up under the rulling government by any agent whether it be departmental or contractors will come under the scrutiny of the law, he said.

The chief minister appealed the public for corporation so as to enable the process of development in the land be successful.

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Few unique displays during this festival are Mithun, rared mostly in the northern areas of Ukhrul, Haofa(endangered Tangkhul dog) and famous Lungpi pottery. Other features during the festival includes Miss Shirui Lily beauty contest, cycling, marathon, 7 A-side football, Essay writing, music and many more. Special appearances by Miss Universe 3rd runner up, Adline Castenino as showstopper at the opening fashion show and The Monument, a British based rock band at Bakshi ground on 28th evening are some of the few highlights.

Ministers Th. Biswajit, Letpao Haokip, Awangbaw Newmai, Khashim Vashum, hill chairman D. Gangme, MLA Bairiya Pakhanglapa, Honorable MLA Hiyanglem, Honorable MLAs Kshetrigao Sheikh, Kebi Devi, Leishiyo Keishing and Ram Muivah were present on the inaugural day of the tourism festival.

Among others are Shailesh Thangal, Ambassador to Ivory, additional chief secretary MH Khan, commisioner for Tourism PK Jha,  DGP P. Doungel and TNL president David Shimray were also present.

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