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Defense Ministry plans to open Siachen Glacier for tourists: Reports

Last Updated on March 21, 2021 at 9:50 pm

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh assured a delegation of Ladakhi leaders that the government was planning to open Siachen Glacier for tourists, allow more border villages for tourism, construct strategic roads, and develop border villages in the Union Territory of Ladakh, reports claimed.

Rajnath Singh was meeting a high-level delegation of Ladakh in the Union capital this afternoon. BJP leader and Lok Sabha MP from Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgayal and Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh CEC-cum-chairman Tashi Gyalson jointly led this delegation and they were joined by many other prominent leaders from Ladakh.

The delegation also demanded that Siachen Glacier should be open for tourists as it will further boost tourism in Ladakh which provides employment to many people in the region. Sources said that Defence Minister assured them that Glacier will be opened for tourists.

Rajnath announced to open base camp of Siachen Glacier located at the height of 11,000 feet from sea level for tourists up to Kumar Post which is located at the height of 15,000 feet in October 2019. The Ladakh delegation raised demands that Siachen Glacier should open as it will attract adventure tourists from within nation and even abroad. The delegation also demanded that other border areas along LoC should also be opened for tourists as many people have expressed their interest in touring them.

The delegation also demanded that Nimo-Padum-Darcha and Turtuk-Hanu roads should be constructed. Defence Minister assured them that it is a top priority of the Central Government. The Ministry of Defence has increased construction process of border roads along the Line of Actual Control after clash with China started. Many roads have already been constructed while some others are being completed.

Another demand of delegation was that border villages should be developed and more mobile towers installed in them to provide better connectivity. Also, nomads/grazers should be allowed to move according to their traditional cyclic movement to different pasture lands along borders.

Other demands included:

  • preference for local porter/labourers in Army
  • increase in wages of porters at Siachen Glacier and new clothing should be provided to them
  • 24/7 electricity connections/ Grid connection for border areas
  • continuation of Defence Labour Procurement Department (DLPD) services in Ladakh
  • reservation/ special quota for the unemployed youth living at LoC in recruitment in Army & Police
  • construction of bunkers in the areas near to border
  • revival of Sadbhavana Programme for Leh and Kargil
  • land compensation for Army occupied land
  • relaxation of age up to 60 years for porters and issuance of Special Identity Cards for people of border villages of Turtuk block

The delegation also appreciated role of the Government of India in handling recent conflict.

Delegation members included: EC LAHDC Kargil (Mohammad Ali Chandan), EC LAHDC Leh (Tashi Namgyal Yakzee), EC LAHDC Leh (Ghulam Mehdi Ashoor), Councillor Panamik, LAHDC Leh (Tsering Sangdup), Councillor of LAHDC Leh (Ishey Spalzang), Councillor of LAHDC Leh (Karma Namdak), Nominated Councillor of LAHDC Leh (Ven Konchok Tsephel), BDC Chairman (Disket Nubra and Stanzin Gyatso) and BDC Chairman of Sodh Kargil (Zakir Hussain).