FROM OUR STAFF CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, April 23: Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma today laid the foundation stone for Shillong Intertiol Centre for Performing Arts and Culture (SICPAC) at Mawkasiang, here in the presence of Art and Culture Minister Clement Marak, Home Minister Roshan Warjri, Urban Affairs Minister M Ampareen Lyngdoh and IPR Minister AL Hek.
The project with an estimated cost of Rs 151 crore has been sanctioned by the Ministry of DoNER on a 90:10 sharing basis between the Centre and the State.
The Centre would, in the long run, host mega events of music, dance, films and theatre particularly for showcasing North East culture, arts and craft and a venue for exchanging cross culture with other states and countries with an open air amphitheater, performance space, banquet halls, intertiol guest houses and intertiol convention centre with state-of-the-art facilities.
The centre will also house a training centre offering skill development courses in music, art, films, television and multimedia for youth of Meghalaya and other Northeast states and a museum showcasing arts and crafts of the region.
The foundation laying ceremony was marked by Khasi, Garo and Jaintia dances from the State Institute of Arts and performances by Aroha Choir and children's choir, Khmih.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Dr. Sangma said that this massive infrastructure, once completed, would be a game changer and open up opportunities for the children with innumerable talents, bringing them at par globally, adding that the Centre would make a huge difference in the lives of the people. He was hopeful that the government would be able to complete and dedicate the centre to the people of the State by 2017 mid-year.
"It was a bold decision on the part of the Government to invest huge amount of money on this mammoth infrastructure and because of this many good things are going to happen and Shillong is going to be talked about as a destition", he said.
"As we embark on this project to develop the sector, we must work further to fulfill the overall vision of the State to brand build Meghalaya as the number one destition", he added.
The Chief Minister also enlightened the gathering on the background of the project and the number of things that the State had to do to ensure that this Centre become a reality and getting the fund sanctioned from the Ministry of DoNER.