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Tourism at the cost of threat to security, trade loss

dehradun Updated: Dec 07, 2017 19:54 IST
BD Kasniyal
BD Kasniyal
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand news,Tourism,Jauljibi

The decision was taken as the area falls along the Kailash Mansarovar route and the government wanted to promote tourism and provide livelihood opportunities to locals residing in the town that shares international border with Nepal. (HT FILE)

A move to promote tourism in Jauljibi and ensure livelihood for the residents by shifting the inner line has had an adverse impact with the area witnessing a surge in crime rate and outsiders establishing their business here, local have alleged.

They also claim that after shifting of the inner line, demarcated to restrict entry to the sensitive India-China border, from Jauljibi to Chiyalekh, “anti-social and suspicious elements” have entered the area posing risk to national security.

They are now demanding to shift the inner line from Chiyalekh back to Jauljibi --- a distance of 85 kms.

The inner line was marked at Jauljibi after Indo-China conflict in 1962. In 1999, the then Union government shifted it to Chiyalekh, 55km ahead of Dharchula. The decision was taken as the area falls along the Kailash Mansarovar route and the government wanted to promote tourism and provide livelihood opportunities to locals residing in the town that shares international border with Nepal.

“When the inner line was at Jauljibi, the outsiders were allowed only three-day stay in the town and the higher reaches. However, after it was shifted to Chiyalekh, a numbers of suspicious elements started arriving in the sensitive border region putting national security at risk,” claimed Birendra Singh Nabiyal, a tribal leader, who wasn’t inner shifted to Jauljibi.

Those spearheading an agitation in support of the demand claimed that they will soon approach even Union Ministry of Home Affairs. “We have given memorandums to administration and will soon inform the Centre about the situation persisting here,” said Bhupendra Thapa, a BJP leader and president of Dharchula trader’s organization.

Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Dharchula, RK Pandey said the shifting of the inner line to Jauljibi would adversely affect the state government’s plan of promoting tourism in the region. The home stay facilities being created for the tourists there will become dysfunctional, he added.

“The state government is investing in home stay facilities along Kailash Mansarovar route. Besides this pilgrimage, over 1,500 trekkers reach Chiyalekh every year,” Pandey said.

The local traders claim they are suffering losses as “due to non-restricted movement in Dharchula town, a number of outsiders have established their businesses, selling goods in the interior villages resulting in a steep decline in profits of local traders”.

“The promotion of tourism in the area has adversely affected the business of locals,” Kailash Rawat, a Congress leader said.

Locals even met Pithoragarh district magistrate (DM), C Ravi Shankar demanding immediate action.

Incidentally, it was on the recommendations of the then District Magistrate of Pithoragarh that the inner line was shifted from Jauljibi to Chiyalekh.

First Published: Dec 07, 2017 19:54 IST