New Delhi [India], February 14 (ANI): Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Monday informed Ladakh Lieutenant Governor RK Mathur that a snow sculpture would be introduced in Ladakh in the winter season as a tourist attraction, which will also create job opportunities for the locals.
The Minister shared the information with Ladakh LG in a meeting with him.
Mathur later sought the support of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) from Singh for this outdoor snow art, which has gained currency in the cold climes of the world.
The LG said, once this art is stabilized, Ladakh will start the Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in the coming years.
The concluding ceremony of the First Ladakh Ice and Snow-Sculpture Workshop 2022 was held on February 11. It was organized by Kangding Snow and Ice Sculpture Association in association with Ladakh Police at Sangtakchan near Tsogsti on the way to Chilling.
The LG attended the concluding ceremony and said, "I see no logic in leaving Ladakh in winters. This is the time to earn here."
In his meeting with LG, Singh thanked the Ladakh Administration for taking a decision to start the commercial plantation of "Leh Berry" from April-May this year.
The CSIR under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Science and Technology is promoting "Leh Berry" which is an exclusive food product of the cold desert and also a means of wide-ranging entrepreneurship as well as self-livelihood.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Ladakh in May 2018, Singh said "the PM had strongly advised for widespread cultivation of sea buckthorn, which is also the source of "Leh Berry".
He said, CSIR will also develop harvesting machinery to be used by local farmers and self-help groups, as currently only 10 per cent of berry is being extracted from the wild sea buckthorn plant.
The Minister said that local entrepreneurs will be provided gainful employment through farming, processing, and marketing of about 100 odd products from sea buckthorn plant-like jams, juices, herbal tea, vitamin C supplements, healthy drinks, cream, oils, and soaps in a completely organic manner.
Mathur also informed that commercial cultivation of three medicinal plants will begin this spring season at a height of above 15,000 feet. This also includes "Sanjeevni Booty", locally known as "Sola" which has very high life-saving and therapeutic properties.
Singh conveyed to LG that the Department of Atomic Energy will set up facilities in the UT for Gamma Irradiation Technology for preservation and shelf life extension of fruits and vegetables. He was happy to note that for the first time huge quantities of Apricot were exported to Dubai.
The Minister complimented CSIR for organizing four training workshops, two each at Leh and Kargil for the treatment of diseases of famous Pashmina Goats. Charthang in Ladakh has over 4 lakh animals mainly pashmina goats, a very rich source of livelihood.
Singh told Mathur that a high-level team of senior scientists from CSIR will visit Ladakh this summer to evaluate the Zinc Fortification project for Pashmina Goats, Sheep, and Yak as Ladakh is mainly an Animal-based economy. He also said CSIR is also contemplating starting a Geo-Thermal Energy Project for warming and cooling systems in a Zero-net energy program by linking it with Solar Power.
The LG thanked the Minister for having responded to the Union Territory government's request for training of officers and staff by DARPG, which already conducted two extensive training sessions. He also requested for posting of more AGMUT Cadre officers in Ladakh in view of the new centrally sponsored projects and schemes having been initiated.
Lieutenant Governor also conveyed to the Minister his acknowledgment of the constant support that the Union Territory government is receiving from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for every small or big issue. (ANI)