Recognising the vast tourist potential of Kargil district, which hit international headlines with the Pakistani intrusion in 1999, the Jammu and Kashmir government has initiated steps to bring it onto the world tourism map.
Steps have already been taken to make Kargil, 200 km from Srinagar, an attractive tourist destination, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said at a public meeting on Friday.
The government has launched a series of mega projects, including upgradation of the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh road into a national highway, construction of the prestigious 220 kv Srinagar-Kargil-Leh transmission line, construction of two power projects - one each in Kargil and Leh, connecting remote areas of the region with a network of roads and communication to change its economic scenario and making it a modern and developed area of the state, he said.
Azad said he would take up the matter of starting air-service to Kargil during winters with concerned authorities.
Earlier, addressing people at the town of Drass in the district, the second coldest place in the world, Azad said Drass, the 'gateway of Ladakh', would be developed into a beautiful modern town.
Granting sub-division status to Drass is a step forward in the direction of fulfilling the people's cherished desire, he said, adding that tourist villages and other such tourism-related infrastructure were being set up there to host visitors to Ladakh.
He said connectivity of remote areas with main highways being sine-quo-non for economic prosperity, as such, besides launching the Bharat Nirman programme, the Rs 171 crore Nimo-Bazgo-Darcha road too has been launched, while macadamisation of the Kargil-Padum road is in the offing.
He said seven model villages are being established in Kargil while the infrastructure for tourism development.
Azad said special attention was being paid to strengthen and expand the education sector and ensureuniformity of elementary education besides laying stress on higher and technical education, particularly in remote areas.