Omar highlights essentiality of regular air service to Kargil

‘Would take up issue of subsidizing air fare with Centre’
Government committed to all round development of backward pockets
KARGIL, JANUARY 07 – In an ultimate step for commencement of air service to Kargil, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Monday himself flew in a Mantra Aircraft from Jammu to Kargil to oversee the final preparedness for a regular and commercial air service to this mountainous and remote area of the State which remains cut-off during winter.
Minister for Health, Sham Lal Sharma, Minister for CAPD, Qamar Ali Akhoon, Advisor to Chief Minister Mubarak Gul, President J&K Pradesh Congress Committee, Prof. Saif-ud-Din Soz and Principle Secretary to Chief Minister B. B. Vyas were accompanying the Chief Minister.
Speaking at a function at Kargil, the Chief Minister highlighted the importance of a regular service for this area for communication and tourism. He said such a service is all the more required keeping in view the winter severity in the area alongwith blockade of National Highway for months.
Emphasizing the need for putting in place all statutory requirements and safety measures for starting flights to Kargil, the Chief Minister said that he would take up the issue of subsidizing the air fare for commoners so that they are able to utilize the service especially during winter months.
Omar Abdullah said that after launch of construction of Z-Morh tunnel and decision to bore Zojila tunnel this year, the air service to Kargil is yet another good news for the people of this district. He referred to his endeavour made in this direction and expressed gratitude to Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, All India Congress General Secretary, Rahul Gandhi and State NC and Congress leadership for paving the way for launch of regular air service to Kargil.
“I am the most fortunate Chief Ministers of the State that a historic event of air service to Kargil is taking place in my tenure for which so many Chief Ministers cherished and worked”, he said appreciating the Mantra Airlines for coming forward to start a regular air service to Kargil from Jammu. He underlined the need for a similar service from Srinagar and said that it would open the area for global tourism.
The Chief Minister said that accessibility and communication are significant ingredients for growth and development. He said by the construction of Z-Morh and Zojila tunnels and 4-laning of Srinagar-Leh National Highway alongwith regular air service will transform the conditions of Kargil district and open new vistas of growth and development.
Omar Abdullah said that there is greater potential of tourism in Kargil district and while showcasing this for tourist influx, there is urgent need to improve, upgrade and construct befitting tourist infrastructure in the area which cannot be done by the government alone but people of the area and private parties have to contribute in this task equally.
“Yours is one of the most beautiful areas in the world and to rope in tourists from all over the world requires us to built required tourist infrastructure here”, he said asking the people to develop a mindset of making Kargil round the year tourist destination and work with government to realize this goal.
The Chief Minister said that all round development of backward pockets of the State is focused area in the development policy of his government and various measures have been initiated to seek fast economic development of these areas. He said Kargil has also great potential for power generation and this potential is being harnessed by launching many small and medium power projects in the area. He said the completion of Srinagar-Leh Transmission Line would give further boost to launch of projects in Leh and Kargil districts. “By this line we would be able to extract surplus power from this region to other parts of the State and the country”, he added.

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