Itanagar: ‘Siang River Festival’, the Siang chapter of the ‘Brahmaputra Utsav’, got underway on Monday, with Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu exuding hope that the fest will go a long way in spreading awareness on river rejuvenation and conservation.
The inaugural ceremony of the festival, organised at the bank of mighty Siang at Raneghat near the East Siang district headquarters Pasighat, was graced by Khandu’s cabinet colleagues and other dignitaries, official sources said.
Speaking on the occasion, Khandu said the festival is an opportunity to showcase and promote the rich cultural heritage of the local tribes and to promote eco-tourism activities in the region.
On repeated threats of deluge in the Siang river during monsoons, the Chief Minister ‘assured’ measures to protect, maintain and stabilise the river banks to prevent it from causing erosion and floods.
“It’s important that the flow of Siang river is kept in control to prevent loss of properties and damages to agriculture fields,” said the CM while expressing his keen interest to have discussions with the local community for the protection of Siang river.
The two-day festival is being organised by the state government in collaboration with the Brahmaputra Board, Ministry of Jal Shakti. The main objective of the festival is to generate awareness on river cleaning, rejuvenation, rainwater harvesting, tourism development, etc.
The festival is being celebrated with the theme ‘River rejuvenation, freedom struggle and eco-tourism’ as part of the ongoing celebration of 75 years of India’s Independence.
The event witnessed cultural presentations by the folk artistes from various Northeastern states under the North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC). Earlier, the CM attended a traditional Adi ‘puja’ (ritual) performed in reverence to the mighty Siang river.
Among others, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, local MLA Kaling Moyong, Brahmaputra Board Chairman Rajiv Yadav, state Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar and East Siang DC Kinny Singh also spoke on the occasion, sources added.