Meghalaya Government has mulled an idea of having air connectivity with Dhaka for the growth of tourism in the state as Chief Minister Conrad Sangma is in talks with the Ministry of civil aviation for International air connectivity with neighbouring countries.
Talking to reporters, Chief Minister Sangma said, there is a huge tourism potential even with the high-end market in terms of Bangladesh.
“We feel that connectivity from Dhaka to Shillong is something that we feel should be explore and we have infact started the discussion on that with the Ministry of course its at very early stage but we feel that Dhaka can be a very big source of tourists out here because Shillong would be the closest hill station for Dhaka if it is made connected to Dhaka,” the Chief Minister said.
He further stated that this can be done provided that the state gets all the infrastructure and the required system in place.
“ We are hopeful that this kind of system will happen but yes it’s a big challenge but we have been trying to do so,” Sangma said.
The CM also stressed on the need to get connected with the capitals of the neighbouring countries for the development of tourism.
Asked, he said, “Yes we feel strongly about flight connectivity keeping all the protocols, all the different aspects in mind should also be looked into because it’s a strong area of tourism and with the good airport connectivity if we have then it could become a high potential , we have Bhutan also which is there, we have Myanmar also that is there, we have Nepal also there, Bangkok is there, I think it’s important that we as a region should realize that 6-7 International capitals of different countries are within one, one and half hour flight from our region , so therefore, there has to be some plan to take advantage of the tourist coming in from these areas.”
He also asserted the need to explore these key areas for tourism growth.
“These areas which need to be explored, and definitely Dhaka is one area which is much closer than for example Nepal for Meghalaya so I think, In a larger context in a much longer term context we need to explore those areas,” the CM added.
While mentioning about various concern related to visiting foreign tourist, the Chief Minister has clarified, “There are concerns obviously we need to ensure that all different systems are put in place to address those concerns , address the Visa issues all paper works all those have to be done obviously , so keeping all those factors in mind we feel there is an opportunity and we should create a system to take advantage of it. “
Asked about if the State Government wants to go for a new airport, Sangma said, “We are exploring the options but each move has its own financial implications, therefore we are exploring and we will see which is the best way to move forward.”
He also informed that having a new airport involves huge investment, therefore instead of jumping to a conclusion, the state Government is examining this option in a positive manner.