Kargil being developed as tourist destination


New Delhi : Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir will be developed as a tourist destination by the tourism ministry, which has sanctioned Rs.700 million in the four months of the current fiscal for 27 projects including conserving heritage sites, promoting eco tourism and developing new destinations.

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This includes a Rs.460 million mega project to develop a Kawardha-Raipur-Nagarmar-Jagdalpur tourist circuit in Chhattisgarh, a tourism ministry statement said Tuesday.

Financial assistance has also been extended for developing rural tourism projects in Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kashmir, Nagaland, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, the statement added.

Among the new projects sanctioned, Kargil and Drass-Panikhar in the Ladakh region of Kashmir will be developed as tourist destinations, as will be Sulkanpur, Shivpuri and Thamia in Madhya Pradesh.

Money has also been sanctioned for conservation and promotion of heritage destinations of Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh and Chettinath and Srirangam in Tamil Nadu.

Eco tourism will be developed and promoted at the Bungus Valley in Kashmir and at Dongargarh and Kodar in Chhattisgarh, while the Pathiramnal Bio Park will be developed in Kerala.

During the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-2012) the tourism ministry will “continue supporting creation of world class infrastructure in the country so that existing tourism products can be further improved and expanded to meet new market requirements and enhance the competitiveness of India as a tourist destination”, the statement said.

During the just-concluded 10th Plan period, the ministry noted, “a double-pronged strategy of upgrading the tourism infrastructure and vigorous marketing under the banner of ‘Incredible India Campaign’ was followed to position India as a global brand”.

During this period, the ministry sanctioned 1,160 projects amounting to Rs.20.11 billion.