Opening of Kailash Mansarovar yatra route from Ladakh, royalty in hydro power projects and a multi-purpose tunnel through Khardongla were some of the demands put forth by Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council before Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.
Council Chairman Rigzin Spalbar met Modi here and presented a memorandum listing out demands of the Ladakh region besides seeking a one-time grant of Rs 200 crore for development works in the region by the Council.
The Prime Minister, who is here to inaugurate the 45 MW Nimoo Bazgo Hydroelectric Project here and 44 MW Chutak Power station in Kargil, assured Spalbar that he would look into all the demands put forth by the Council.
Demanding mega solar projects of 5000 mega watts and 2500 mega watts in the region, the Council also demanded a 12.5 per cent royalty in favour of the Council on the hydro projects.
The Council said these projects will acquire huge chunks of land from eastern Ladakh region where population is dependent on animal husbandry thus having a negative impact on the livelihood of the people.
“…the project is also expected to affect the fragile ecosystem. In light of the above, LAHDC, Leh demands a royalty of 12.5 per cent to compensate the loss of grazing land and livelihood of the local population,” the memorandum said.
On the opening of new Yatra route to Mansarovar from here, the Council said, “Demchok in Ladakh provides the easiest and the safest access to Kailash Mansarovar. From here pilgrims can approach the holy mountain and the sacred lake in two days. This would also give the much needed fillip to the local economy,” the memorandum said.
Demanding opening of cross-border trade links with China, the Council said opening of Demchok for cross-border trade on the pattern of Nathu-la pass in Sikkim will not only boost the regional economy but would go a long way in fostering Sino-Indian relations.
To tackle problem of unemployment among educated women in the region, the Council said a battalion of Ladakhi women, who easily adapt to the harsh high altitude environs, can be created in the army and paramilitary forces.
The Council also demanded necessary directions to Army and ITBP to ease the movements of nomads along the border and restrictions on development works.
“This is leading to strong resentment against the Army and ITBP by inhabitants of border areas as they are already fed up with the repeated incursion of PLA and unnecessary restrictions put up by our own army to use our own land,” continued…
Former Apple executive and Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri has also been included in the spokespersons’ list.