Ladakh peaks opened for tourists ;MHA yet to give green signal | india | Hindustan Times
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Ladakh peaks opened for tourists ;MHA yet to give green signal

india Updated: Apr 16, 2010 08:26 IST
Arun Joshi

All the talk of more than 100 Himalayan peaks in Ladakh close to borders with and occupied Kashmir opening for tourists is still a talk.

Despite defence ministry's clearance to allow the tourists to visit these peaks and places in October last year, the Union Home Ministry has not given a green signal till date.

These places are expected to boost tourism. And, at the same time, these are considered critical to assert Indian position in the border areas through civilian footprints, especially that of foreign tourists.

The Jammu and Kashmirgovernment was delighted when its proposal to open more placers and peaks in Ladakh region was given a go ahead by the ministry of defence in October last year. It was hoped that the MHA, too, would issue the notification, notifying these areas open to tourists, domestic and foreign.

Even the domestic tourists don't have an access to the restricted or protected areas.

" We have not received communication from the MHA so far," disclosed Tourism Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora to Hindustan Times.

"I will write a letter to the Home Minister to get the notification issued."

He was confident that the MHA would respond positively.

It is mandatory to have the clearance from the ministry of home affairs before the strategically located Himalayan peaks in critically strategic area for, are opened to tourists.

Deputy Commissioner Leh's office issues a special permit to the tourists desiring to visit the areas close to the LAC, listed as " restricted areas" because of their proximity to the border with.

The visitors to Tso Pangong , a vast 135 km sq. km lake , 45 kms of which is with and rest 90 Kms with , 180 km east of Leh, have to get this permit to visit these tourist spots .

However, Union Home Ministry has given a green signal for the tourists to move beyond Spangmik along the banks of Pangong Lake. They would now be able to go visit upto Man and Merak villages along the LAC.

The Home Ministry also approved the visit of tourists to Turtuk in NubraValley. Turtuk was a scene of intense battle during the Kargil war of 1999. It was taken over from in 1971 and now forms part of as per the Line of Control ( LoC).

Now even the Chiktan-Batalik area has been opened for foreign tourists.. The approved tour circuits in the two districts of Kargil and Leh are, Kargil-Khangral-Shaker-Chiktan-Sanjak-Leh and Dah-Garkone-Darchik-Batalik-Silmo-Kargil town.

The area is also the home of famous Drokpas, supposed to be pure Aryan tribe.