Monday, November 29, 1999

Omar calls for preservation of nature

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Leh (JK), Jun 16 (PTI) Noting that the state has immense potential for eco-tourism, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today stressed the need to preserve its "natural beauty". "In a state like ours where tourism is predominantly dependent on natural beauty, everyone has a role to play in the conservation of nature and should avoid unnecessary human interference," Omar, who is on a five-day visit to Ladakh region, said at a function. "Our future is subservient to safeguarding the invaluable natural wealth which God has gifted us in plenty," he said. The chief minister said maintenance of the environment is vital for growth of eco-tourism in the state. "This will help us achieve the twin objectives of preserving the natural beauty and attracting tourists from across the world," he said. Sports like paragliding, trekking, mountain biking, skiing, which will generate greater economic opportunities for the people by attracting tourits, should be encouraged, Omar said. Government has embarked on a scientific and environment- friendly tourism development policy to restore pristine glory of Jammu and Kashmir and develop the state as first tourist choice in the world, the chief minister said. Omar is currently on a visit to Ladakh to review various development projects and the public service delivery system in the region.

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