The councillor Konchok Stanzin handed over a three page letter of demands of the border residents to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who was in Chushul, where he inaugurated a revamped war memorial in Rezang La, the site of a battle between the Indian and Chinese forces in 1962.
The councillor of Chushul constituency in eastern Ladakh has requested for allotment of land in the Leh city for the border residents in the wake of prevailing ‘war like situation’ along the Line of Actual Control for over a year now.
The councillor Konchok Stanzin handed over a three page letter of demands of the border residents to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who was in Chushul on Thursday, where he inaugurated a revamped war memorial in Rezang La, the site of a battle between the Indian and Chinese forces in 1962.
“What we have been observing since a year at the border is unprecedented and it is completely a war-like situation at the borders. We never saw such a situation ever at the border, which creates insecurity among the people living at the border. In order to give safe shelter during a war like situation, we need land in Leh for border people, keeping safety and security into consideration,” Stanzin wrote in the letter.
The councillor also demanded opening of the trading point with China in Chushul at it one of the designated Border Personnel Meeting point between the Indian and Chinese armies on the lines of two other recognized trading routes of Lipulekh in Uttarakhand and Nathu La in Sikkim. “By opening the trading point it will help in fostering good relationships with neighbors as well as help to boost the local economy,” read the letter.
The Indian and Chinese armies have engaged in a standoff in eastern Ladakh since May 2020 following a violent clash in Pangong Tso area. The tensions escalated and deployments on both sides increased manifold after deadly clashes in the Galwan area on May 15, 2020, in which 20 Indian army personnel and an unknown number of Chinese army men were killed. Since then, in the wake of several rounds of military and diplomatic talks, two sides have disengaged in the north and south banks of Pangong Tso and Gogra region. The last military level talks in October yielded no results on ground with both the sides blaming each other for the impasse. With the huge deployments on both sides the standoff has entered its second winter, incurring huge costs to both the countries.
“The Chinese have given unfettered freedom to their nomads to move freely. They very often use their noman community to transgress on our land in a step by step approach.Sady movement of our nomads has been restricted by the Indian army from grazing their stock traditional pastureland from Hot Spring, Fingers to Army named Kailash Range. The nomads on the Indian side are soldiers without uniform. The Indian army must trust them by not restricting their movement relating to grazing,” read the letter.
The councillor stated that without a strong border infrastructure and modern amenities the progress of mainstream society does not hold any value.
“I have seen that countries like China, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh are far better than India in terms of communication facilities in their border villages,” said Konchok, while demanding 4G mobile towers for nine villages along the border.
“It is only with proper infrastructure at the border, India can feel confident internally as well as externally and can exhibit boldness in its foreign policy,” he said in the letter.
He has demanded to connect the Durbuk Block and other areas of the Changthang region along the border to Northern Grid for continued reliable supply of electricity. The councillor also demanded connecting all villages in Chushul with optical fibre, setting up new medical centres and also developing the educational infrastructure in the border areas, to ensure small children don’t migrate from the border villages.
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