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Thrusday, September 15, 2011
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15-Day Ladakh Tourism Festival concludes

Ladakh Tourism Festival Celebrations.

Leh (Ladakh), September 15 – Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Thursday reiterated the necessity of preserving Jammu & Kashmir State's unique bio-environment and natural beauty. He said while promoting tourism and opening new areas for tourist interests this aspect should receive focused attention.

Laying stress on blanced growth of tourism for enhancing economic activities and creating job facilities, the Chief Minister said "we should equally concentrate on maintenance, preservation and conservation of the eco-system, culture and heritage of the State under all circumstances".
Addressing the concluding function of 15-Day Ladakh Tourism Festival, organized by the State Tourism Department at Leh, the Chief Minister highlighted the need for sustaining environment and eco-balance for generations to come.

"While showcasing the rich and varied tourist potential and raising infrastructural facilities, the necessary attention has to be paid on protecting our environment, mountains, rivers, atmosphere and natural beauty from all kinds of pollutions and unnecessary human interference", he said emphasizing on making this aspect as an integral part of Tourism Development Policy.

"As the real custodians and responsible generation we have to make sure that the precious treasure of natural beauty and bio-diversity, God has bestowed upon the State, is protected and maintained", he said and asked the people to play their pro-active role in this direction. He told them to work jointly with the Tourism Department and other concerned agencies in ensuring prevention of air, water and environmental pollutions while promoting the tourism.

Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah speaking on the concluding function of Ladakh Tourism Festival

Stating that the beautiful mountains and vast terrains in Ladakh region possess great potential for attracting visitors from all over the World, the Chief Minister said that adventure and sports tourism can be propagated and showcased viably in the area.

Announcing an 18-hole Golf Course at the banks of river Sind in Leh, the Chief Minister said that Kashmir and Jammu are already on the map of world golf destinations. The development of full-fledged golf course in Leh would open new avenues of sports tourism in the area.

Omar Abdullah praised the people of Ladakh for showing unity, brotherhood and courage in overcoming the hardships and difficulties caused by the natural calamity in the shape of cloud-burst and flash-flood last year. "I salute you for exhibiting this kind of bravery", he told them asking for maintaining and nurturing the same spirit in future.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Tourism, Nawang Rigzin Jora highlighted the schemes Tourism Department has initiated in the State especially in Ladakh region for the promotion of tourism.

The Minister said that every measure would be taken to safeguard the environment and cultural heritage of the State while promoting the tourism activities.

Minister for Rural Development, Ali Mohammad Sagar, Chief Executive Councillor, Rigzin Spalbar, legislators and officers were present on the occasion.

Later, the Chief Minister addressed Panchayat Members after inaugurating 4-day orientation camp for sarpanches and panches of Leh Assembly constituency. He underscored the role of panchayats in the process of development and social reforms and said that these institutions would develop as an important tool for socio-economic change in the State.

Omar Abdullah said that the holding of panchayat elections in the State after a period of over 33 years was a historic decision and the transfer of powers to these grass root democratic institutions is yet another historic measure.

The Chief Minister said the role of panchayats in achieving the cherished goal of holistic and equitable development of the State in accordance with the aspiration of people is of pivotal importance. He said that Panchayat Raj would not only give considerable fillip to good-governance but help in a big way for empowering base level public representatives to make decisions on the development front, formulate plans, implement works and monitor physical and financial progress of schemes.

Omar Abdullah asked the sarpanches and panches to render their best service to the people and help mitigate their difficulties and problems they are confronted with especially in far-flung and remote areas.

Speaking to the Panchayat Members, Minister for Rural Development, Ali Mohammad Sagar said that besides involvement of panchayats in the implementation and monitoring of schemes in Rural Development sector, the grass root democratic institutions have also been empowered to undertake various development activities in other sectors.

Sagar said that Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah is keen to see the Panchayat Raj flourishing in the State so that development of far-flung, backward, hilly and remote areas is carried on fast track and area-specific works in accordance with the public needs implemented.

Various sarpanches and panches also spoke on the occasion and thanked the Chief Minister for holding panchayat elections in the State and empowering sarpanches and panches in the development process.

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