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June 10, 2012

Omar Abdullah wants to develop Kargil as a tourist destination

     Drass: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has emphasized the need to develop Kargil, the second most important town in Ladakh region as a tourism and sports destination. Inaugurating the Lalit Polo Tournament in Drass, Abdullah said: "The names of Kargil and Drass are more associated with the limited war of 1999 while Drass is also known for being the second coldest place in the world. Now, we are trying to show the world its beauty, picturesque view, hospitality and polo. For doing so, it has to be advertised on a large scale, which will attract domestic and international tourists." Abdullah further said that soon air services would begin for this region, for making the area accessible for tourists. "With the arrival of tourists, people in this region will get the opportunity to open hotels, restaurants and guest houses. The only negative point for this region is that air services have begun in Ladakh and Leh but those services have not yet begun in Kargil. Government of India is working for a programme for expanding the Kargil airport, till then we will try that small aircrafts ply to this region to revive tourism," said Abdullah. He also said that sports was a means to attract players of national and international fame, which would give an impetus to the economic activities. "With this tournament we want to showcase an upgraded picture of the Drass region to the world, where polo matches are being organised from last four years. Teams from Mongolia and Manipur have arrived for the match and exhibition matches were also organised. So, we are trying to attract more tourists to this region," said Abdullah. Drass is a small region, with a population of less than 17,000. The game of polo here dates back to the 17th century. Polo had royal patronage in the past and it was being played on important occasions.
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