104 more peaks to open in Leh to boost tourism

May 27th, 2011 - 10:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) With a special focus on development of adventure tourism in the country, the Indian government has given security clearance for opening an additional 104 peaks in Jammu and Kashmir’s Leh region, an official said Friday.

“The opening of the peaks will help in positioning the Himalayas as an adventure tourism destination. However, the decision is subject to stipulations and clearances from the state government, the union home ministry and other concerned agencies,” a tourism ministry official said.

The ministry has also taken up the issue of using the global positioning system (GPS) and satellite phones by adventure tour operators to ensure international standards of safety, added the official.

Further, the ministry has issued guidelines for the approval of adventure tour operators in the country and also formulated guidelines on safety and quality norms in adventure tourism like mountaineering, para-gliding, bungee jumping and river rafting, among others, the official added.

“To promote camping sites, the ministry has sanctioned Rs. 3.61 crore for development of these sites in the Surajkund area and Rs.3.20 crore at Dharuhera,” said the official.

“Central financial assistance is being extended to various state governments and union territory administrations for such development. These include facilities for trekking, rock climbing, mountaineering, aero-sports, winter/water related sports, among others,” the official said.

In addition, monetary assistance for purchase of kayaks, canoes, paddle boats,
fibreglass boats, hovercrafts and water scooters is also provided as a special effort to promote inland water tourism.

“We are working with the Indian Mountaineering Federation (IMF) and Adventure Tour Operators Association of India to position India as an adventure destination. The ministry has also allowed the IMF to organize training programmes for adventure and mountain guides,” added the official.

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