From a Correspondent
Itagar, Oct 22: The first ever mountain terrain biking (MTB) race in the North East, also called Hornbill’s Flight, concluded with a flag-in ceremony attended by Chief Minister Pema Khandu at Banquet Hall here on Friday.
The seven-day race sponsored by Dalmia Bharat Cement, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and state Tourism department was flagged-off from Mechuka on October 14. It culmited here on Friday after covering 730 km with 70 riders from India, Germany, Portugal, Nepal, and Czech Republic participating, an official report said here.
The chief minister congratulated all the riders on their successful completion of their race while giving away the award to the winners of the race events under different category.
Ilda Pereira of Portugal won the women’s open race while Indian Army’s Mukesh Kumar won the men’s category, each taking home the prize money of Rs 1-lakh. Poom Ra of Nepal was adjudged the most promising rider winning cash award of Rs 1-lakh.
Deputy Chief Minister Chow Mein gave away the prize of Best Indian Rider to Mukesh Kumar. Tourism Parliamentary Secretary Pasang D So gave away the award of ‘Performing under adverse condition’ to Marcelli Sangma and Ramlal Rasailey, the former battling cancer and the latter a para-athlete.
Khandu announced to hold the event next year in a grander manner. He said Mechuka is poised to become number one tourist destition in Aruchal as it offers ample opportunity for adventure sports. He said road communication to Mechuka is being improved and apologised to the riders for any inconvenience for present condition of the road.
Referring to tourism as the ‘engine of growth’, the chief minister said the state government is giving high priority to it. He said that the fund allocation of state Tourism department has jumped from Rs 16-crore to Rs 100-crore in two years.
Aruchal, he added, offers attractive destitions as home to different tribes with diverse culture, hospitable ture and peaceful atmosphere.
Earlier, Mein congratulated the riders and welcomed the participants to explore more tourism sites in Aruchal. SSB Commanding Officer cum race Director Rajesh Thakur presented a brief report on the seven-day event.
Parliamentary secretaries Pani Taram, Nyamar Karbak, Tage Taki, Tesam Pongte, Laisam Simai, legislator Tsering Tashi and Tourism Secretary Dr Joram Beda attended the event, the report said.