Leh And Kargil Chosen For Swadesh Darshan 2.0

Under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, the government is implementing projects to enhance tourism in Ladakh. This includes the development of crucial destinations such as Jammu, Srinagar,Pahalgam, Kargil or Leh
Thiksey Monastery, Leh
Thiksey Monastery, LehShutterstock

In a significant move, the government has identified Leh and Kargil in Ladakh for development under the Swadesh Darshan 2.0 initiative, according to a statement made by Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy in Parliament.

As part of the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, the government has undertaken projects to boost tourism in Ladakh, including the development of key destinations like Jammu-Srinagar-Pahalgam-Bhagwati Nagar-Anantnag-Salamabad Uri-Kargil-Leh. The total project cost is INR 77.33 crore, with INR 13.43 crore allocated for developing tourist facilities in Kargil and Leh. This project, sanctioned in 2016-17, aims to enhance the tourism experience in Ladakh.

Additionally, another project covering Anantnag-Pulwama-Kishtwar-Pahalgam-Zanskar-Padum-Daksum-Ranjit Sagar Dam, with a total cost of INR 86.39 crore, includes INR 9.45 crore designated for the development of tourist facilities at Zanskar-Padum in Ladakh. Both projects fall under the revamped Swadesh Darshan Scheme, now known as Swadesh Darshan 2.0 (SD 2.0), focusing on sustainable and responsible destination development.

Mitreya Buddha in the monastery of Likir (Likir Gompa) - Tibet, Leh district, Ladakh
Mitreya Buddha in the monastery of Likir (Likir Gompa) - Tibet, Leh district, LadakhShutterstock

Other Initiatives

The Ministry of Tourism has actively promoted Ladakh and its diverse tourism offerings through various channels, such as the Incredible India website and social media handles. Ladakh has also been showcased in the India pavilion at international travel fairs and exhibitions abroad.

To facilitate tourism, the Union Territory administration, through a notification dated August 6, 2021, has removed the permit requirement for domestic tourists visiting most areas in Ladakh, except for a few pockets along the LAC and LoC, for security reasons. However, foreigners still need permits to see restricted areas within the UT.

In collaboration with security forces, the UT administration has established police checkposts at identified locations. Furthermore, the administration issues timely advisories regarding health precautions, safety, and security for visitors.

In response to a separate query, the Union Tourism Minister announced that the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways has launched 'Harit Nauka' guidelines, aiming for a complete transition to Green Vessels by 2047. The ministry has also outlined a roadmap for River Cruise Tourism in the country, which will be unveiled on January 8, 2024.

(With inputs from PTI)

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