Binoo Joshi

Special to J K News Today

 Much of the attention on August 5 this year that among other things marked the announcement of the bifurcation of  Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories  of J&K and Ladakh was focused on  Kashmir . Ladakh that has more area and of a big strategic importance to the country did not get its due.

The UT of Ladakh was inaugurated by Lieutenant Governor R K Mathur , former defence secretary , and it was due to his efforts despite a large stack of odds and adverse situations that Ladakh today is in the attention  of  the nation. Its remoteness  has receded and its importance  has gained traction and attention even before  China made aggressive moves in eastern Ladakh.

Mathur had a big task at hand  as when he landed  to occupy Raniwas, Ladakh, in Leh, the region was shivering in subzero temperatures . This is a hard season in the region when the need for light goes up , and the essentials are required in adequate  measure.

The LG  knew from his administrative experience how to overcome this situation. The plan was laid out and implemented  in such a manner that the  homes of the locals were lighted 24×7 and they got the best  kind of water supply.

Some of the measures that the Ladakh administration took  immediately were extraordinary for the people as they had mot experienced  such facilities ever before . Ladakh was part of the state of J&K  until October 31st last year.

In a  statement released on August 4, on the eve of August 5 , the day Ladakh was separated from Jammu and Kashmir , Raj Niwas  listed some of the achievements  in less than nine months . The big announcement  of Ladakh becoming a UT was made by  Home Minister Amit Shah on August 5 last year .

“The onset of the usual harsh winter soon after the formation of UT Ladakh was a major challenge. In this period, the region remains isolated from the rest of the country for five to six months.  During winters, the administration addressed the following issues

Steady power supply was maintained. From February, 2020, 24×7 power supply

is available. DG set (58 nos) availability in remote unconnected areas was increased by about 6 to 8 hours per day,” the statement said.

Large no of additional water tankers were arranged to give the best ever drinking water supply of about 3.5 lac litres per day during winters.

The statement also listed  that “With the help of Indian Air Force, 415 MT of fresh vegetables and essential commodities were airlifted, 2125 no of passengers and patients were moved in and out of Ladakh, primarily from Kargil, by the IAF during the Corona lockdown period as well as winters.

Eighteen satellite phones were placed in different areas which get cut off during winters to ensure communication for evacuation of patients and availability of essential supplies.

Leh-Srinagar Highway (Zojila-pass), was opened on 11 th April, 20 by BRO, almost one month before the normal time, giving great relief to the people. Similarly, Manali-Leh Highway was opened on 18 th May 2020, by BRO one month ahead of normal time.

Early opening of internal roads viz..Khaltsi-Lingshed, Kargil-Padum(Zanskar) etc. was ensured.