STATE TIMES NEWS
KARGIL: Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Saturday arrived at border town of Kargil in Ladakh region, where he visited some forward posts near the Line of Control (LoC) and held meetings with the local administration.
The Home Minister also visited Leh and reviewed the overall situation and development taking place in the area which was hit by flash floods in 2010.
Addressing local administration, the Home Minister said that UPA Government has accorded priority to development of backward and unattended areas and is aware of the problems of the people of far-flung and remote pockets like Kargil. He also praised the people of Kargil for their bravery and patriotism. He said that funds for completing of Z-Tunnel and other demands would be looked into.
The minister said that the Centre has offered special concession in educational qualification and physical para-meters for recruitment of youth in para-military forces for the people of Kargil and other likewise areas and special drive will be launched in future.
Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Abdul Rahim Rather, Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Qamar Ali Akhoon, Chairman and Executive Councilor Kargil Development Council, Kachoo Ahmad Ali Khan, Minister of State for Home, Nasisr Aslam Wani, Executive Councilors Haji Ghulam Aamir, Poonchuk Tashi, Chief Secretary, Madhav Lal, Director General of Police, Ashok Prasad, Principal Secretary Planning and Development, B.B Vyas, Deputy Commissioner (DC), Kargil, Razak and other senior officers attended the meeting.
Earlier, the DC, through a power point presentation, presented the development scenario of Kargil and status of various Centrally Sponsored Schemes being executed in the district.
It was informed that Rs 270 crores are being expended on construction of Solar Power Plant and hydro-electric projects in the district under centrally sponsored scheme. Besides, Rs 50 crores have been provided under special task force programme while Rs 40 crore have been allocated for various developmental projects under the council infrastructure plan.
The meeting was briefed about the damage caused to property due to flash floods during previous year and the measures under taken by state government for reconstruction of damaged structures. Of 1451 schemes, affected, 992 schemes have been restored fully till date and during current financial year Rs 71.49 crore are being spent on various developmental schemes under the district Plan.
He was informed that since 1999, troops remained deployed on the LoC even during winter when the temperature goes down to minus 30 to minus 40 degree Celsius.
The Union Home Minister was briefed by the Councillors of Kargil Hill Development Council and district administration officials about the developmental activities.
During his visit to Leh, the Home Minister reviewed the security situation in forward areas along Indo-Pakistan border.
Talking to media, Shinde called Ladakh an integral part of India and appreciated the people of the region living in a geographically tough and climatically harsh terrain for their courageous fights whenever needed in securing country’s borders and said that this region cannot be compared with rest of the country living in plains.
At Leh, Shinde convened a meeting with LAHDC, Leh during which Chairman LAHDC, Rigzin Spalbar submitted some of urgent and pressing demands that include additional provision of Rs. 17 crore for ongoing projects and another Rs 82 crore 82 crores for clearing the liabilities and completing remaining restoration works taken up after 2010 flash flood.
They also demanded adequate funds for controlling soil erosion in Leh Nalla and special package for civic works..
Besides, a memorandum was also submitted to the minister seeking inclusion of Bhoti language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution, withdrawal of Inner line permit system and opening of new areas for tourists, raising of Ladakhi Women Battalion/ Unit in the Paramilitary force, considering the increasing number of unemployed young women and preference to locals in paramilitary forces besides relaxation in educational qualifications and physical criteria in recruitment process.
The Minister for Tourism & Culture Nawang Rigzin Jora highlighted the issue of encroachment from Chinese side and objections raised by Indian Army to the Nomades of Changthang border area for using their traditional pasture land for grazing.
Responding to the submissions made by LAHDC, Shinde assured about creation of a special company of women battalion
Earlier, the Home Minister inaugurated 50 KV SPV Power Plant at 24th Battalion, ITBP, Choglamsar installed under the Ladakh Renewable Energy Initiative Project being implemented by the Ladakh Renewable Energy Development Agency (LREDA), LAHDC.
A delegation of Councilors from Nubra called on the Union Home Minister and requested for opening Yarma Gonbo and Tongstet areas in Nubra for tourism and withdrawal of the Inner Line Permits (ILP) required for visiting the Nubra valley. “As the Govt of India has issued notification to open many restricted areas in Ladakh for foreign as well as domestic tourism two years ago, Yarma Gonbo and Tongstet areas in Nubra have been left out from de-restricting for tourism”, they maintained.
Sarpach Shachukul also called on Shinde and pleaded for opening areas in Changthang from Pangong Lake to Nyuma via Chushul village and Tsagala.