Meghalaya launches first E-Cycle circuit in Sohra for sustainable tourism
Flag off of first E-cycle circut services in Meghalaya

Guwahati: E-cycles, being environmentally friendly, will offer tourists an opportunity to traverse the scenic beauty of Khliehshnong village in Meghalaya with zero carbon emissions.

Driven by a passion for showcasing Meghalaya’s captivating beauty and cultural richness in an environmentally responsible manner, Shangkai, a tour start-up, in collaboration with Bharthiya Vikas Trust, has launched the first E-cycle circuit services in Khliehshnong Village, Sohra. This collaboration is facilitated by Sauramandala Foundation & PRIME-Sauramandala Rural Entrepreneurship Fellowship (PSREF). The program was held on Wednesday.

The event was officially flagged off by Dr. Vijay Kumar D, Commissioner and Secretary, Tourism, in the presence of other dignitaries like Chief Guest Gavin Mylliemngap, MLA of Sohra Constituency, Aditya Sen, Programme Head, PRIME Meghalaya, Dr. Shembhalang Kharwanlang, Headman Khliehshnong Village, Plidarnath Kharkongor, Secretary Environment & Tourism Khliehshnong Village, Alexson Diengdoh, President VDP Khliehshnong Village, Bansiewdor Phanbuh, President Seng Samla Khliehshnong Village, Barikupar Mylliemngap, Chairman Tourism Khliehshnong Village, and Gilbert Khongsit, President Tour Guide Association Meghalaya, Sohra.

E-cycles enable tourists to discover hidden gems and offer a distinctive, active, and immersive exploration experience. They assist in uphill terrain and blend health with leisure on the E-cycles trail.

Amenities include free parking and a free guide service for tourists.

Several E-cycle stations will be set up at strategic points throughout the trail, enabling tourists to rent and return cycles with ease.

The circuits will cover popular destinations like Nohkalikai falls, Nohsngithiang viewpoint, along with lesser-known treasures of Sohra. The E-cycle circuit route also has a flexible nature whereby the rider can choose the time and destination mentioned on the route.

Speaking at the launch event, Dr. Vijay Kumar D, Commissioner and Secretary, Department of Tourism, said he believes in the ability of sustainable solutions to have a positive impact on our communities.

“The opening of the E-Cycle Circuit in Sohra, Meghalaya, represents a big step toward a future for our region that is greener, cleaner, and more accessible. These electric bicycles serve as a symbol of our dedication to a better and more sustainable future while also promoting environmentally friendly transportation,” he said.

Calling it “the first project of its kind in the State of Meghalaya,” MLA of Sohra Constituency and Chief Guest of the occasion, Gavin Mylliemngap, urges the members of the Shangkai Group to maximize the use and maintenance so that these electric cycles can be provided to tourists and ensure that they are used in the best possible manner.

“Entrepreneurship is something that our government has put special focus on since its inception,” he added.

“It also understands that the youth comprise the majority of our population; hence, they are our biggest strengths and also our biggest challenges. We seek to ensure that the youth are driven in the right direction,” he explained while congratulating the young innovators.

“In our cherished Sohra, we are honored to usher in a new era of sustainable mobility. The E-Cycle Circuit is a tribute to our resolve to protect our pristine environment, welcome innovation, and strengthen our community. It is not just about transportation. We urge everyone to explore our gorgeous hills and immerse themselves in our rich culture with the help of these electric cycles as we move toward a more environmentally friendly future,” added Dr. Shembhalang Kharwanlang, Headman of Khliehshnong Village.

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Damanbha Khongstia, Partner & Head of Operations, Shangkai, spoke at the launch event, “Shangkai is happy to be a part of the E-Cycle Circuit program in Sohra as partners in development and sustainability. We are guiding Sohra toward a cleaner, more environmentally friendly future with the help of our partners. Join us on this thrilling adventure as we set off on a voyage of environmentally aware mobility, reinventing how we discover and value Meghalaya’s natural beauties.”

Tourists can book e-cycles via partnered homestays, the Instagram page @shangkaiindia, or through partnered travel operators. On-spot rentals will also be available at each station at affordable costs for different package deals. At present, 10 cycles will be available; however, the circuit will be adding 20 more e-cycles in the coming years.

Also Read | Meghalaya: Kongthong village wins bronze at National Tourism Awards 2023

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