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Work stopped on Ladakh road after Chinese troops object

J&K CM Omar Abdullah confirmed that an 8-km road was being constructed under the NREGS to improve road connectivity and provide employment to local residents.

Jammu and Kashmir has stopped work on a road project under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) in Demchok in south-east Leh in Ladakh after the Chinese army objected. Forming the eastern boundary of Ladakh,this is the last inhabited area on the Line of Actual Control.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah confirmed to The Indian Express that an 8-km road was being constructed under the NREGS to improve road connectivity and provide employment to local residents. “We had already constructed 4 km of road when the Chinese came and asked to stop the work. We have stopped work on the road. The road was being built between the T-point and CNN-point. We have already informed the Government of India about it.”

He said the road was being constructed for the local population. “It is an inhabited area and the local villagers were building the road under the NREGS.”

Official sources said Leh Deputy Commissioner Ajit Kumar Sahu visited the area and has submitted a report to the government.

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Chering Dorjay,Chief Executive Councillor of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council,told The Indian Express that the NREGS road was being constructed because the local residents had been demanding a link.

“There is a nallah which is the Line of Actual Control in the area and the Chinese are so close that we can talk to them. They constructed a very good parallel road on their side,we didn’t object to that. We have a hot spring on our side where we have started a hydro-therapy centre. Villagers had been demanding a road ahead,all on our side,” he said.

“The road was planned under the NREGS. While construction was on,the Chinese shouted at the villagers,asking them to stop work immediately. They (the Chinese) didn’t cross the nallah but they could have easily done that. We must have built three-four kilometres when they stopped our work.”

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Ladakh MP Hassan Khan was contacted over phone by village head Tangey Tsering after the Chinese troops prevented local residents from continuing work on the road. “I met a few villagers who informed me about this development. Then I received the phone call ten days ago,” he said.

The place where the Chinese have stopped the NREGS road is around 300 km from Leh’s district headquarters.

First published on: 30-11-2009 at 09:12:44 am
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