A meeting on the promotion of mountaineering/trekking activities in Ladakh was chaired by Secretary, Tourism, Kacho Mehboob Ali Khan on June 30.
Secretary, Kacho Mehboob Ali Khan informed that Ladakh has 120 peaks open for mountaineering and trekking (5508 to7135mtr), and considering the potential, the Tourism Department is keen on promoting mountaineering and trekking activities in the UT. It was deliberated that initially few peaks can be identified for mountaineering and trekking classified as per categorization based on altitude and other relevant parameters as per established standards. To carry out the operations professionally, safely and in an environment-friendly manner, necessary regulations/SOPs are required to be framed in consultation with Indian Mountaineering Foundation and other stakeholders.
Discussion was also held on the formation of a special cell for rescue and weather forecast to reduce untoward incidents during mountaineering/trekking and other adventure sports.
The Secretary emphasized that appropriate training is required to be provided to volunteers and mountain guides to build their capacity and enable them to become certified guides and professionals in collaboration with ITBP, Army, Ladakh Police, and other stakeholders.
The meeting also deliberated upon the need to identify villages and households near the identified peaks for capacity building and infrastructure development, which would generate employment for the local populace, and at the same time, they can provide emergency services in case of requirement of such services. Identified households could be provided with effective and adequate training in first aid to assist mountaineers/trekkers during any kind of emergency.
The Secretary stated that further meeting with the stakeholders is required for proper planning and development of mountaineering/trekking for tourists/visitors.
The meeting was attended by Commandant, ITBP Ladakh, Uma Kant; Superintendent of Police, UT Disaster Response Force, Kameshwar Puri; Col. S.K. Sahu, Headquarters 14 Corps; and Director, Tourism, Ladakh, Kunzes Angmo.