Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Saturday assessed the situation along borders and developmental works in Kargil and Leh districts on his maiden visit to the state.
The home minister held separate meeting with councillors of Kargil and Leh development council. He was briefed about the region's problems and also some reported incidents of "transgression" by the Chinese army along the Line of Actual Control in Leh.
"We told the home minister that India must raise the issues of regular incidents of incursions by the Chinese army. The government must allow tourists to visit Gondo-Yaldar and develop it as tourist destination as it will establish our right of territory along the border," said a councillor of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, wishing not to be named.
Shinde first arrived at Kargil on Saturday morning where he was received by finance minister and in-charge, Ladakh affairs, Abdul Rahim Rather, local legislator and minister Qamar Ali Akhoon, councillors of the Kargil Hill Development Council, director general of police (DGP) Ashok Prasad, senior officials of the district administration and the army.
In Leh, tourism minister Nawang Rigzin Jora also attended the meeting. The LAHDC councillor also demanded that tourist should be allowed to move beyond the present line of restriction on Pangong lake. The tourist had to now get permission from the authorities to visit Pangong lake and its also restricted.
"Such steps will not only help in developing tourism but will also establish our claim on border, which though hadn't been demarcated and used as an excuse by China to make incursions," said the councillor. The Indian authorities and the army had been terming these incidents as acts of transgression.
"We requested the minister to expedite the work of 70-km Karzok-Chumur road, which is being funded by home ministry. The road is falling short of 3 km from Chumur and this stretch should also be constructed," said the councillor.
Finance minister and in-charge (Ladakh affairs) AR Rather said: "The home minister analysed and listened to the problems of the people and assured of their speedy redressal. They also raised some issues which were concerning them."
The union home minister will visit forward areas on Sunday before leaving for Delhi.