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IAS Ashish Chauhan transforms a quaint village Harshil into a thriving tourist spot

By Anuj Cariappa
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Google Oneindia News

Ashish Chauhan was born and brought up in a small town in Rajasthan. Driven to bring a change, Ashish sought to become a civil servant and contribute to healthcare, the environment, backward communities, education, etc. Ashish enforced plans and strategies brilliantly while being Joint Magistrate in Nainital, Chamoli, District Magistrate of Uttarkashi, Director of Uttarakhand Civil Aviation department, CDO Pithoragarh and District Magistrate of Pithoragarh. In the progression of Uttarakhand, Dr Ashish Chauhan's contributions and passion had an immense role to play.

Harshil, a serene village hidden in the valleys of Uttarakhand, today, is a famous spot for apples and lets tourists indulge in adventure sports, witness exquisite landscapes, and have a pleasing vacation. In 2018, IAS Ashish Chauhan launched Harshil Apple Festival to promote the apples produced. The festival was buzzing with businessmen, investors, and buyers to purchase apples. Gardeners were thrilled with the response, and with time and enhanced marketing, they were selling apples at a much better rate than ever before. More than 12,000 farmers are cultivating apples. Ashish and the administration prioritised providing training to farmers, proper marketing plans, and apple cultivation to maintain the quality of apples. 10kg of apples that were sold for Rs.500 are now fetching Rs 1200-1500/-. This shift enhanced the lives of farmers and the people living in Harshil and Uttarkashi. Exposure to Harshil Apple Festival enabled the gardeners to earn substantial money to fight poverty.

Ashish Chauhan

Now, to promote tourism, Ashish Chauhan in association with Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) started a mountaineering expedition called 'Horn of Harshil'. Ashish's purpose to launch the Horn of Harshil was to promote adventure activities in the area. The expedition turned fruitful as it received an amazing response from travellers and explorers.

Dr Ashish Chauhan is praised for promoting the local language: Garhwali. During the pandemic, to spread awareness, announcements were carried out in the Garhwali dialect. Previously, Ashish ran a cleanliness drive by Nachiketa Tal and all over the district to promote cleanliness, hygiene and how to cease the spread of Covid-19 infection.

For active participation and contribution to social work, DM of Pithoragarh Ashish Chauhan received the 'Best IAS Officer' title and felicitated with News Maker Achiever's Award 2022 in Mumbai. In 2019, Dr Ashish Chauhan received the CM Excellence and Good Governance Award on Republic Day.

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