AGARTALA, June 20 (PTI): Tripura chief minister Manik Saha on Tuesday urged the people of the state to keep Neermahal, the only lake palace in eastern India, plastic free and clean to attract tourists.
The CM’s appeal came after Padma Shri awardee Sudha Murthy who was on a visit to the northeastern state recently, expressed dismay over the unhygienic condition of Neermahal premises.
“The government has given a new facelift to Neermahal by spending Rs 50 crore on the eve of the G-20 summit in Agartala. This is an asset of the state. Tourists even from outside the state visit the lake palace to see its beauty. Sudha Murthy ji had also paid a visit to the palace”, he said before the inauguration of the state’s biggest Rath Yatra at Melaghar in Sepahijala district.
Expressing displeasure on the plight of Neermahal, which is the only Ramsar site of the state, the chief minister appealed to the people to come forward to preserve the lake and palace and keep it plastic-free.
“The tourists will obviously be disheartened if they see dirty bottles, plastic wrappers and plastic bags thrown around the lake palace. The local people must come forward to protect the princely era structure and its beauty. The government will soon start a statewide drive against plastic use”, he said.
Saha claimed that the present dispensation is trying to promote cultural, and religious practices in the northeastern state.
“We can’t think of life without God and Goddess… We believe God stays only in the temple but during the rath yatra, the Gods and Goddess come down on the streets from the temple and mix up with the devotees. The ISKON is celebrating rath yatra all over the globe which increases bond among the people”, he said.