NEW DELHI, Feb 14: Lieutenant Governor Ladakh, R.K. Mathur today called on Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh and sought Snow Sculpture StartUp technology which, he said, could be provided by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of the Science & Technology Ministry headed by him.
The Minister assured the LG that Snow Sculpture will be introduced in Ladakh in a big way, which would not only create Startup and job opportunities for the locals but could also emerge as a huge attraction for winter tourists.
Dr Jitendra Singh thanked the Ladakh Administration for taking a decision to start the commercial plantation of “Leh Berry” from April-May this year. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) under the aegis of Union Ministry of Science & Technology is promoting “Leh Berry” which is an exclusive food product of the cold desert and also a means of wide-ranging entrepreneurship as well as self-livelihood.
Dr Jitendra Singh referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ladakh in May 2018, wherein the PM had strongly advised for widespread cultivation of sea buckthorn, which is also the source of “Leh Berry”. He said, CSIR will also develop harvesting machinery to be used by local farmers and self-help groups, as currently only 10% of berry is being extracted from the wild sea buckthorn plant.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that local entrepreneurs will be provided gainful employment through farming, processing and marketing of about 100 odd products from sea buckthorn plant like jams, juices, herbal tea, vitamin C supplements, healthy drinks, cream, oils, and soaps in a completely organic manner.
Mathur also informed that commercial cultivation of three medicinal plants will begin this spring season at the height of above 15,000 feet. This also includes “Sanjeevni Booty”, locally known as “Sola” which has a very high life saving and therapeutic properties.
Dr Jitendra Singh conveyed to LG, Ladakh that Department of Atomic Energy will set up facilities in the UT for Gamma Irradiation Technology for preservation/shelf life extension of fruits and vegetables. He was happy to note that for the first time huge quantities of Apricot was exported to Dubai.
Dr Jitendra Singh told Mathur that a high level team of senior scientists from CSIR will visit Ladakh this summer to evaluate the Zinc Fortification project for Pashmina Goats, Sheep and Yak as Ladakh is mainly an Animal-based economy. He said, CSIR is also contemplating to start a Geo-Thermal Energy Project for warming and cooling systems in a Zero-net energy programme by linking it with Solar Power.