Friday, June 12, 2009

CM inaugurates Sindhu Darshan festival

‘Tourism set to boost Ladakh’s rich art, culture’ 
Chief Minister Mr. Omar Abdullah has said that Sindhu Darshan festival has proved a great success and is playing a key role in promoting tourism potential of Ladakh region. He said the region offers great power potential in solar, hydro-electric and geothermal sectors which can be tapped with the support of Union Ministry of New And Renewable Energy. 
The Chief Minister was speaking at Sindhu Ghat, here today, after inaugurating the Sindhu Darshan festival. 
Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mr. Nawang Rigzin Jora, Political Advisor to the Chief Minister, Mr. Devender Singh Rana, Chief Executive Officer, LAHDC, Mr. Chering Dorje, Executive Councillors, LAHDC, Mr. Tsering Wangchuk, Mr. Dorje Stanzin, Mr. Mohammad Khan and Mr. Stanzin Phuntsog, Deputy Commissioner, Leh, Mr. A. K. Sahu, SSP, Leh and GoC were among hundreds of guests present at the inaugural function. 
The Chief Minister said Ladakh’s rich art and cultural heritage can be dovetailed with its vast tourism potential, which together will help in attracting more and more tourists to the region. He said by flagging the tourism sector, major fillip would be provided to the art and culture, which will in turn improve the economy of the region. 
Pointing towards tourism promotional measures to be taken to achieve the objectives, Mr. Abdullah stressed the need on making access to Ladakh easy by increasing frequency of flights, making flexible procedure of inner–line permits and opening of Kailash-Mansoravar pilgrimage road. 
The Chief Minister said the State government has again raised the issue of opening of Kailash Yatra road with the Union Home Minister, Mr. P. Chidambaram and said the Centre would take further action on the matter. 
Mr. Abdullah hoped that Ladakh will see tremendous development in the tourism sector within the next few years under Mr. Nawang Rigzin Jora. He said Ladakh’s power potential in solar, hydro and geothermal sectors would get boost by Union Ministry for New and Renewable Energy headed by Dr. Farooq Abdullah.
Mr. Jora, who also spoke on the occasion, said Sindhu Darshan provides a wonderful opportunity to explore the tourism potential of the Ladakh region. He said the festival will go a long way in stretching the tourist season here. He said the tourism sector is the economic backbone of the State and the government has accorded it utmost priority. He said major developmental activities for creating better infrastructure in all the three regions of the State are underway to provide better facilities to the visitors.  
Welcoming the Chief Minister and other guests at the Sindhu Festival, Mr. Dorje said Sindhu Festival is proving a boon for domestic arrivals to Ladakh every year. Among the 75,000 tourists that visited Ladakh last year, majority of them were from within the country, he said. 
The CEO LAHDC, put forth certain demands to the Chief Minister which included increase in the frequency of air services to the region, opening of Nubra Development Authority, on pattern of Zanskar Development Authority in Kargil and adequate funding for establishment of a Central Asian Museum at Leh. He hoped that Ladakh will benefit in the tourism sector during the regime of the coalition government.  
Later, the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages presented a colourful cultural programme in which diverse folk dances of the State were presented.  

Hangul Conservation Centre at Tral to come up at Rs.1.76 crore

Minister for Forests and Environment, Mian Altaf Ahmad reviewed the measures being taken to minimize the cases of man -animal conflict with senior officers of the department here today. The Minister said to ensure conservation of Hangul, a conservation breading centre for Hangul would be set up at Shekargah Tral at a cost of Rs 1.76 crore.
Commissioner/Secretary Forests, Mr. Shant Manu, Chief Wildlife Warden, Mr. Deepak Khanna, and other concerned officers attended the meeting.
The meeting was told that the incidence of man- animal conflict remains high in the district of Anantnag, Shopian, Baramulla, Kupwara and Ganderbal. It was decided in the meeting that an awareness campaign would be launched to make people aware about the safety measures to be taken when such a situation arises. The Minister impressed upon for maintaining close coordination between the Police and Wildlife departments to minimize the loss of human and wild lives. He assured of all possible help to the departments from the government.
Mian Altaf asked the concerned for submission of a comprehensive plan for establishment of control rooms at Anangnag, Shopian, Kupwara ,Baramulla and Ganderbal so that the ambulances, medicine and other facilities could be made available in these control rooms for the affected people.