Meghalaya: Downward slide in visitors to Nongkhnum River Island
Nongkhnum River IslandTNT-The Northeast Today

Meghalaya: Downward slide in visitors to Nongkhnum River Island

During a recent visit to the area 14 km from Nongstoin to the District Headquarters of West Khasi Hills, it was found that there were few visitors to the river island.

NONGSTOIN

Nongkhnum River Island, which is known as the biggest river island in Meghalaya and the second biggest river island in Asia, after Majuli Island in Assam has been seeing a decline in the footfall in visitors.

Nongkhnum, formed by the bifurcation of the Kynshi river into the Phanliang and the Namliang. A beautiful sandy shore, a lake, vast areas of grassland and waterfalls, and home stays are some major attractions.

The island serves as an employment opportunity to the local people, since tourism is one of the key sectors for revenue generation.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit hard on the sector, and the low turnout in Nongkhnum Island comes with other issues.

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Pitiable road communication is the major obstacle why tourists are few to visit such a beautiful place.

During a recent visit to the area 14 km from Nongstoin to the District Headquarters of West Khasi Hills, it was found that there were few visitors to the river island.

TNT-The Northeast Today

Speaking to TNT-The Northeast Today, Secretary Nongkhnum Area Integrated Village Cooperative Society, Shining Marthong said that the number of visitors had gone down even before the outbreak of COVID-19.

He also said that because of the dilapidated conditions of the road, it takes an hour from Nongstoin to reach the island and this has badly affected tourism at Nongkhnum.

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“Tourists usually enjoy visiting the island only from September till March, but many of them would turn out from different places across India whenever a festival is being held in the river island,” he added.

Marthong also said that after the reopening of Nongkhnum, the number of visitors at the island is around 20 per cent to 40 per cent and most of them are local visitors.

He added that so far Thum Waterfall at Nongkhnum remains inaccessible. Wooden boats are the only option for the visitors to reach the waterfall.

(Edited by Christopher Gatphoh)

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