Kargil (Ladakh) [India], January 24 (ANI): Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel on Sunday announced that the central government will work to leverage the potential of adventure tourism in Ladakh's Kargil and provide facilities to local youth in a bid to attract tourists from across the world.
The minister made the announcements while talking to ANI after inaugurating National Events of Adventure Tourism 2021, in Linkipal ski slope pashkum, Kargil in which 15 players participated.
"There was no scope for adventure sports in Kargil before today. Sports like skiing and ice hockey have started after the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism. A variety of programs have also been introduced to promote adventure tourism in the winter season," Patel told ANI.
"We will soon begin the work for the development of the Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering (IISM) here. It got delayed due to COVID-19. The local people here who are doing all the work on their own should also be trained. They should be enrolled for a proper course and they should get instrumental support as well, so I believe this place is the best place (for IISM). Later, maybe we can attract the people of the world," he added.
Patel said that there is a need to change "perception" regarding Ladakh and Kargil.
"I believe that all of us should share our experiences that there can be no better place than Kargil to change perception. Over 2.20 lakh crore people go to a foreign country for tourism. Perhaps we could not tell them the reality. We need to work on it. We will provide instrumental support to locals to enhance their capabilities and earn from tourism," he said.
Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Kargil chairman Feroz Ahmed Khan said that the administration will provide the land after demarcating it for the IISM project. He said that Kargil will be on the map of winter sports by next year.
"I am happy that Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel visited here in winter and we are taking many decisions during his visit. He promised for developments here. He promised IISM here like Gulmarg. We will provide land for the Ministry's projects and I hope they will develop the infrastructure and by next winter we will be able to hold big winter sports. I hope that Kargil will be on the map of winter sporting events," Khan said.
Instructor Rahman said that the infrastructure will help the youth to fulfil their dreams.
"I want to thank Tourism Minister and IISM Gulmarg for organising this event. The snow remains in Kargil for the largest time here. We are organising skiing events here for the last 10 years. Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel promise to develop infrastructure will boost our morale and help in untapping the potential of youth in Kargil," he said.
Sadiq, a student who participated in National Events of Adventure Tourism 2021 said, "Such events help us in realising our potential. I hope such events will be organised in future too." (ANI)