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Social activist questions over Rs 1 cr spent on Cherry Blossom Festival

Shillong, Dec 23: Social activist Junebirth C Marak, who is heading Garo Hills United for Change, questioned the state government for spending over Rs 1 crore for Cherry Blossom Festival.

His criticism comes after RTI activist Disparsing Rani revealed that the government reports on the flow of tourists were wrong as it did not tally with the actual report provided by the tourism department.

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Marak said implementation of any project requires great skills with master plan and road map for future impact.

“Tourism department sponsored Rs 1.99 crore for holding the Cherry Blossom Festival, however it did not earn any profit in return for the state.The government claims that 70 percent of the visitors were all tourists and the festival has attracted foreign visitors, besides providing opportunities for the local musicians to showcase their talents”, Marak said.

According to Marak, investment should improve the state’s economy but there should be utilisation certificates as well.

“Utilization receipts can indicate both the quantity and quality of investment.
Ahead of the implementation, a forethought is required. Poor and inadequate ideas will lead to waste of public money.This indicates that Meghalaya is carrying on without any vision to achieve and without any concern for public welfare”, Marak added.

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