Tawang set to host eighth Buddha Mahotsava

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Itanagar, Nov 01 (UNI) Tawang, considered as the last Shangri-La on earth, located along the Sino-India border in Arunachal Pradesh, is all set to host the eighth Buddha Mohatsava scheduled from November 9.

Despite disruption of surface communication to Tawang following cyclonic storm-triggered torrential rain that damaged a major portion of road at Rupa on October 28, delinking both Tawang and West Kameng districts from rest of the world, the state government is making all out efforts to organise the three-day mega tourism extravaganza.

Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu has been constantly in touch with the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) authorities, who maintain the strategic road, to monitor the progress.

An alternate road from Rowta in Assam to Tawang via Balemu, Kalaktang, Rupa and Bomdila (in Arunachal Pradesh) is being made operational for light vehicles by this afternoon for facilitating tourists to travel to Tawang covering a distance of 450 kilometers, informed official sources.

In order to facilitate high tourist flow with Tawang drawing global attention for its scenic beauty and tourism potential, the Guwahati-Tawang Pawanhans chopper service will continue to serve as a boon for the tourists. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had announced this service to put Tawang in the global tourism map during his visit to the state early this year.

''All preparations are over for the mega tourism event,'' state Tourism Secretary Bandana Deori said, adding besides External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukharjee, who will be the chief guest of the inaugural function on November 9, a host of union ministers, including Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, Minister of State attached to the PMO Prithiviraj Chavan, and Sikkim Tourism Minister are scheduled to attend the festival.

Meanwhile, ration sorties of Indian Air Force have been pressed into service for airdropping essential commodities in the affected districts, while over 60 stranded tourists have been evacuated from Tawang till today and the same number are being airlifted, sources added.

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