New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Culture and Tourism has prepared a plan to give a makeover for the road from Leh to Kargil into a tourist highway. According to the plan, the facilities required for the tourists would be developed at regular intervals on the 230 km of the highway between Leh and Kargil.
With the road turning into a highway, the journey from Leh to Kargil would be smooth and pleasant for the tourists.
An action plan is also prepared for the development of many facilities for the tourists visiting Kargil and thereby bringing its spotlight in the field of tourism. The ministry also hopes that Indian citizens visiting Switzerland and other countries would happily visit Kargil, Drass and other areas once the road and air connectivity to these places are improved.
Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) Prahlad Singh Patel, told IANS that right now there are no public facilities on the route from Leh in Ladakh to Kargil.
"We want oxygen parlours to be opened every 20 to 25 km on the highway where oxygen is provided along with the medical facility. Arrangements for collecting litter should also be arranged. This infrastructure would be prepared by the government of India but it would be run by the local villagers," Patel quoted IANS as saying.
Patel also remarked how people do not know much about the hundreds of heritage sites located in Leh-Ladakh and Kargil.
He also added how the tourists can get information about which heritage sites are located on the road from Leh to Kargil since the cultural mapping of all the heritage sites is also being done. "It would be easier for tourists by making Leh-Kargil road a tourist highway. They would be able to find public facilities on the ministry's website," he said.
The focus of the Modi government is on the development in the UT after the formation of Ladakh as a Union territory in August 2019.
Locals have also demanded tourism promotion of Kargil from the central government.
"People still see Kargil in the light of the 1999 war, while Kargil has become a peace zone and is no longer a war zone. There is immense tourism potential here. Rural tourism would create new employment opportunities in Leh-Ladakh and Kargil, Ladakh MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal told IANS.
In a bid to attract tourists, efforts ate are also on by the central government to promote winter sports and adventure tourism. Like Gulmarg in Kashmir, the Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering is also set to open in Kargil. The government has also finalised the land for this in Kargil.
Sources say within two years the skiing and mountaineering institute would be ready here through which local youth and youth from other parts of the country would be able to participate in international competitions after receiving training in adventure sports.