Tuesday, April 23
Karzok, Chushul, 35 other villages in focus as Centre aims to develop UT border areas

Karzok, Chushul, 35 other villages in focus as Centre aims to develop UT border areas


Union Minister Giriraj Singh concludes 4-day visit of Ladakh
LEH: Karzok and Chushul, along with 35 other villages of Ladakh are at the centre of the union government’s major developmental push to the union territory as it aims to usher the region into an unprecedented era of development.

This push for the border areas of the cold desert is a part of a significant developmental agenda pursued by the union government for the union territory created three-and-a-half years ago.

“The Centre stands committed to the overall development of Ladakh, the new crown of India, after its reorganisation post the split from the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and its formation as a union territory,” a senior official from the North Block informed The Earth News.

As part of this development push, the centre is focussing on the border areas of Ladakh, along the Line of Actual Control with China, he added.

The central government, earlier this year, approved a centrally-sponsored scheme ‘Vibrant Villages Programme’ for the comprehensive development of the border villages, with four states and one union territory at its focus.

The official said that Ladakh has been at the centre of this scheme, considering its sensitive position, unique geographical location and the neglect of several decades.

Of the 662 border villages identified for comprehensive development on priority under the programme with an overall outlay of Rs 4800 Crore, 35 villages are of Ladakh, the official informed, adding that two more villages- Karzok and Chushul have been selected for their development as tourism destinations.

Both these villages are among the 17 villages across the country selected for the pilot project under Vibrant Villages Programme.

“The focus is on adventure tourism, construction of homestays, and promotion of local festivals and fairs in Chushul and Karzok, and the ministry of home affairs which is funding the program, has set a deadline of April 2024 for completion of the works,” said the official.

Karzok is a village located close to Nyoma, in the Rupshu region and block in Leh district. Situated on the shores of the Tso Moriri lake, Karzok is among the highest towns in the world and the highest settlement in India. Besides the natural beauty, the village also houses Drukpa Buddhist Korzok Monastery.

The second village, Chushul is located in the Durbuk tehsil of Leh district, in the area known as Chushul Valley, and has a historical importance, being the battlefield of 1842 Dogra-Tibetan War and the signing of Treaty of Chushul.

It may be mentioned here that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the Vibrant Villages Programme in February this year.

“As a testimony of Centre’s commitment to Ladakh’s development, four union ministers have visited Ladakh since March this year regarding the Vibrant Villages Programme,” the official informed.

Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Shandilya Giriraj Singh flew to Delhi on Friday evening after concluding his four-day visit to Ladakh.

Before him, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Cabinet Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Bhupender Yadav, Union Cabinet Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change; and Labour and Employment, Parshottam Rupala, Union Cabinet Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying have visited the villages of the union territory.

Karzok, Chushul, 35 other villages in focus as Centre aims to develop UT border areas

Under Vibrant Villages Programme, the government is targeting the Economic growth- livelihood generation, road connectivity, housing and village infrastructure, energy including renewable energy through solar and wind power, television and telecom connectivity including setting up of IT-enabled Common Service Centre in the village, regeneration of eco-system, promotion of tourism and culture, financial inclusion, skill development and entrepreneurship, development of cooperative societies for managing livelihood opportunities including agriculture and horticulture, and cultivation of medicinal plants and herbs under this program, the official said.

Meanwhile, Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Giriraj Singh concluded his four-day-long visit of border areas of Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control, before returning to New Delhi on Friday.

The union minister, who had arrived on a four-day tour of Ladakh on Tuesday to assess the progress of Vibrant Villages Programme of the Central government, visited Tarchit Phoo, Hemya, Kungyam, Shara and Chuchot Shamma villages, where he was involved in several activities such as the inauguration of the PGMSY Roads at Tarchit Phoo and Kungyam Dho villages, the inauguration of Amrit Sarovar Tank at Shara, the inauguration of Block Development Office and Chairman Block Development Council Office at Thiksay, interaction with villagers, Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) members, members of Self-Help Groups (SHGs), etc.

During his tour, the Union Minister reviewed projects and various schemes of Rural Development, National Rural Livelihood Mission, Watershed Development and SVAMITVA along with plans comprising Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal and Sheep Husbandry, non-farm allied activities with MRLM for the uplifting of the economic households, especially women, with active support from banks. He had also met Lieutenant Governor, Brigadier BD Mishra on Thursday evening.

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