Lt. Governor Ladakh R.K. Mathur today called on Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh and informed that Snow Sculpture will be introduced in Ladakh in a big way from winter season as a tourist attraction, which will also create job opportunities for the locals.
Shri Mathur sought the support of CSIR from Dr Jitendra Singh for this outdoor snow art, which has gained currency in the cold climes of the world. He said, once this art is stabilized, Ladakh will start the Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in coming years.
The concluding ceremony of First Ladakh Ice and Snow-Sculpture Workshop 2022 was held on February 11. It was organised by Kangsing Snow and Ice Sculpture Association in association with Ladakh Police at Sangtakchan near Tsogsti on the way to Chilling. Lieutenant Governor (LG) of the Union Territory Ladakh, RK Mathur attended the concluding ceremony. He said, “I see no logic in leaving Ladakh in winters. This is the time to earn here.”
Dr Jitendra Singh thanked the Ladakh Administration for taking a decision to start the commercial plantation of “Leh Berry” from April-May this year. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) under the aegis of Union Ministry of Science & 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.
Dr Jitendra Singh referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ladakh in May 2018, wherein 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% of berry is being extracted from the wild sea buckthorn plant.
Dr Jitendra Singh 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.
Shri Mathur also informed that commercial cultivation of three medicinal plants will begin this spring season at the height of above 15,000 feet. This also includes “Sanjeevni Booty”, locally known as “Sola” which has a very high life saving and therapeutic properties.
Dr Jitendra Singh conveyed to LG, Ladakh that Department of Atomic Energy will set up facilities in the UT for Gamma Irradiation Technology for preservation/shelf life extension of fruits and vegetables. He was happy to note that for the first time huge quantities of Apricot was exported to Dubai.
Dr Jitendra Singh complimented CSIR for organizing 4 training workshops, two each at Leh and Kargil for treatment of diseases of famous Pashmina Goats. Charthang in Ladakh has over 4 lakh animals mainly pashmina goats, a very rich source of livelihood.
Dr Jitendra Singh told Shri 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 said, CSIR is also contemplating to start a Geo-Thermal Energy Project for warming and cooling systems in a Zero-net energy programme by linking it with Solar Power.
Dr.Jitendra Singh said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave high priority to the young Union Territory of Ladakh which has enabled the sanction of new University, Professional Colleges and other institutions. He said, the opening of Zojila Pass is a huge relief for the local population.
Lieutenant Governor 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 number of 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 acknowledgement of the constant support that the Union Territory government is receiving from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for every small or big issue.