Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council, Haji Inayat Ali and Advisor to Governor, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai today inaugurated the two-day Kargil Ladakh Tourism Festival-2018 at Khree Sultan Cho Sports Stadium, Biamathang Kargil.The two-day event features multi-ethnic traditional music and dance performances by the folk artists of different ethnic groups of the region including Purgi, Dalti, Dardi. It also features traditional horse polo and archery matches. Besides, the exhibition of local art and craft on various stalls, the visitors here also cherish the taste of ethnic food made available here.Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council, Haji Inayat Ali was the Chief Guest on the occasion while as Advisor to Governor Ganai presided over the function.Chief Executive Councillor, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Kargil, Kachoo Ahmad Ali Khan, Secretary Tourism, Rigzian Sampheal, Deputy Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, (LAHDC) Kargil, Vikas Kundal, Director Tourism Kashmir, Tasaduq Jeelani, SSP Kargil Dr Vinod Kumar, senior officers of the Tourism Department, district administration and a good number of foreigners as well as local people participated in the inaugural function. Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman, Legislative Council highlighted the scope of tourism in the district Kargil, and said that the topography of the district makes it unique for winter sports. He said the need is to highlight it so tourists would throng the place during winters also. He asked the Tourism Department to prepare a comprehensive plan in this regard.
Speaking on the occasion, the Advisor to Governor, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai said development of Ladakh region on modern lines is the commitment of the Governor’s Administration for which all the necessary steps would be taken.The Advisor said the main purpose of the festival is to boost the potential of tourism in district Kargil. He exhorted upon the Tourism Department to further intensify its publicity and promotional activities so as to attract the maximum number of tourists from across the country. He said to promote the Kargil district on the international tourism map, Government is taking various steps and establishment of Kargil Airport which is a long pending demand of the people, is one such step. He added that the work on the same is under progress and hoped that the dream will be fulfilled in the next year.Referring to the construction of Zujila Tunnel and Z-Morh Tunnel, the Advisor said that the construction on Zujila tunnel will be completed within four to five years, adding their completion will not only increase the flow of domestic visitors but will also improve the socio-economic conditions of the people of the area.Praising the scenic beauty and the multi-ethnic culture of Kargil, the Advisor said that more than 86,000 domestic and 4500 foreign tourists have visited the district Kargil during the current year so far. The Advisor said that a number of incentive schemes, including Prime Minister’s Development Project, are in place to encourage the private stakeholders while as due impetus is being given to raise necessary tourism infrastructure in the district.Secretary Tourism and Director Tourism also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the importance of the Kargil festival and said that such events provide a platform to promote the tourism activities.Earlier, the Chairman and Advisor went around the ethnic food and local handicrafts stalls and appreciated the concerned Departments, women SHGs and others. The Advisor said that there is a scope of improvement in these sectors and asked the Deputy Commissioner to involve Women Development Cooperation, Cooperative Department and other concerned Departments boast local products.A colourful and scintillating cultural programme depicting the culture and traditions of Kargil was the main attraction of the event on the inaugural day today.