ANI Photo | Himachal CM opens Lahaul Sharad Utsav, lays foundation stone for projects worth over Rs 70 cr

On a day-long visit to Lahaul Spiti in the higher reaches of Himachal, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu on Sunday inaugurated the ‘Lahaul Sharad Utsav’, a traditional winter festival spanning over two months.
The event also showcases the vibrant culture and heritage of the region, according to an official statement.
The festival, celebrated post-snowfall, brings together diverse local customs and traditions from various valleys, offering a plethora of activities ranging from archery and other snow sports to culinary delights and knitting competitions, the release added.
Speaking on the occasion of the festival’s opening, CM Sukhu said the Lahaul Sharad Utsav was a major tourist attraction, “drawing thousands of visitors every year”.
“He commended the people of Lahaul and Spiti district for their warm hospitality and steadfast commitment to preserving cultural legacy,” the statement quoted the CM as saying.
“Five new tourist destinations would be developed in the upcoming fiscal year, including Chandratal, Kaza and Tandi of Lahaul & Spiti and Rackchham and Nako-Chango-Khab of Kinnaur district,” the CM said.
Stressing the pivotal role of the tourism sector in driving the state’s economy and providing employment as well as entrepreneurial opportunities to the locals, the CM also launched the ‘Discover Lahaul Spiti’ mobile application, an innovative initiative spearheaded by the district administration, according to the release.
He said the application features modern AI integration, including an interactive Chatbot designed to assist tourists in exploring the district’s attractions, availability of accommodations, and activities, the statement added.
“Through the app, tourists can access a plethora of features, ranging from detailed guides to off-the-beaten-path destinations, all aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of the district’s rich tapestry. The app could be downloaded via QR code,” CM Sukhu was quoted as saying further in the release.
“The chief minister praised the administration’s efforts and highlighted the app’s capacity to reveal undiscovered treasures and remote areas of Lahaul Spiti. He said that this initiative would not only attract tourists to the region but also generate employment opportunities and foster economic growth,” it added.
During his one-day visit to Lahaul Spiti, Sukhu also laid the foundation stone for 11 development projects at a combined cost of Rs 70.07 crore, the release stated.
These projects include the upgradation of the main road Ratil at a cost of Rs 9.97 crore, upgradation of the main road Rwaling Thirling Mailing at Rs 4.58 crore, upgradation of the main road Marble at Rs 6.41 crore, upgradation of the main road Chowkhang Naingahar at Rs 6.80 crore, main road Vihali Triloknath Lobar Udaipur at Rs 13.88 crore, main road Yangrang at Rs 10.41 crore and upgradation of the main road Shiti Nallah Meh Bog at Rs. 6.18 crore. Other foundations included the improvement of FIS Beeling through Syphon at Rs 1.68 crore, Winter Water Supply Scheme to village Jispa at Rs 3.91 crore, and Lahaul Haat Dalang to be established at Rs 5 crore, as per the release.
The CM also inaugurated the Command and Control Centre (Animesh-netram) of Lahaul Spiti police district, at a cost of Rs 1.25 crore, it added.
The centre has expanded its CCTV coverage to border areas, including Sumdo, Shinkula and Sarchu, along with other popular tourist destinations in the district, the release stated, adding that it also received the Skotch Merit of Order award.
A total of 639 cameras have been installed under the project, with 182 of them coming up in the past year, the release added

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