Ladakh LG, Jitendra Singh discuss various issues of UT

New Delhi: Ladakh Lt Governor R.K. Mathur on Monday called on Union Science and Technology Minister Dr Jitendra Singh and discussed various administrative and developmental issues.

He thanked the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) under the aegis of Union Science & Technology Ministry for promoting ‘Leh Berry’, the food product of the cold desert and also a means of wide-ranging entrepreneurship as well as self-livelihood.

Singh welcomed the Ladakh Administration’s decision to start commercial plantation of “Leh Berry” from April-May. He said that CSIR will also develop harvesting machinery to be used by local farmers and self-help groups, as currently only 10 per cent of the berry is being extracted from the wild sea buckthorn plant.

Mathur also said 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 very high life-saving and therapeutic properties.

He also said that snow sculpture will be introduced in Ladakh in a big way from winter season as a tourist attraction, and will also create job opportunities for the locals. Once this art is stabilised, Ladakh will start the Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in coming years, he added.

During the meeting, the Minister told the LG that the Department of Atomic Energy will set up facilities in the UT for gamma irradiation technology for preservation and shelf life extension of fruits and vegetables and congratulated him for the huge quantities of apricot exported to Dubai for the first time.

He also said 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.

The 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.

Singh also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi gives high priority to the youth of Ladakh and sanctioned a new university, professional colleges and other institutions while opening Zojila Pass is a huge relief for the local population.

Mathur thanked the Minister for having responded to the Union Territory’s request for training of officers and staff by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), which already conducted two extensive training sessions. He also requested for posting of more number of Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territories Cadre officers in Ladakh in view of the new Centrally-sponsored projects and schemes having been initiated. (IANS)

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