Imphal, May 31 : Kangla fort, the famous heritage structure at Imphal, is getting a facelift in a bid to give fillip to tourism in the region.
It was on the demand of the people of Manipur, who regard the Kangla as the embodiment of their culture and heritage, that Assam Rifles vacated the fort in November 2004.
Soon after the Manipur Government began restoration of the fort by implementing in a phased manner the approved Concept Development Plan (CDP) of Kangla prepared by Professor Nalini Thakur of the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi.
As per the recommendations of CDP, financial allocation worth over 100 million rupee has been set aside for its development.
"Now you might have seen that all internal roads inside the fort have been carpeted and have black top and the outer moats are developed. The banks of the lake are decorated and it has been taken up by the ecology wing," said P. Bharat Singh, Commissioner, Arts and Culture, Manipur and Secretary Kangla Fort Board.
The entire area covering 237.62 acres has already been declared as protected area under the provision of the Manipur Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaelogical sites and Remains Act.
"We want to develop it as a national heritage park so that people will come to visit it," Singh added.
However, residents are not satisfied with the pace of restoration work of the fort, which is likely to take two years for completion.
"This place actually is a very lovely and an important place, but when I came here I felt something damaged. All the things lying here are for the construction of the fort and specially the Manipur government is also not taking an active interest in this," said Jonathan Kashung, a resident.
Situated right near the bank of the Imphal River and at the heart of Imphal city is 'Kangla', the ancient capital of Manipur, till 1891.
During ancient times, 'Kangla' was the royal palace (King Pakhangba 33 A.D.). The monarchy of Manipur was founded and enlarged from 'Kangla'. A place of such an important political and religious stature, Kangla is an astounding fortress city.
The brick walls were constructed in 1632 A.D