Ladakh council demands permanent huts along LAC

     The Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) of Leh District in Jammu and Kashmir has proposed to build permanent huts for the nomadic shepherds along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The LAHDC has proposed to replace the temporary tents known as Changpas, provided by the local authorities to the nomadic shepherds, by proper huts made of timber and mud. The LAHDC opined that the move would also help in demarcating Indian side of the LAC. The nomadic shepherds had complained that the Chinese troops frequently intrude into Indian side and threaten them. The shepherds also complained about the forceful evacuation by the Chinese troops. According to Dorjey Stanzin, Executive Councillor of LAHDC: "The state government should think that wherever the nomads stay, there should be huts. So that when we are discussing the border with China, we should be able to tell them that our territory is demarcated." "We have spoken to the Indian army officials, especially officials of the 'Sadbhavana' project which is a good project of the Army. If infrastructure is developed here, it will be good for us," Stanzin added. The nomads and shepherds who go to the border area for grazing their sheep play an important role in gathering information about the activities on the other side of the borders. "There is no infrastructure in places that we stay in, there are no houses. There is no proof that we inhabit the place. We keep shifting to various places in the region, a month in one place two in another and so on. But still we go there with our cattle. It is our own place and we want to protect it. In fact we have been protecting it for a long time. But there is no army, no protection, nothing," says Nawang Norboo, Councillor, Demchok village, in Ladakh region. Earlier, in September, the Jammu and Kashmir Government sought the clearance from the Ministry of Defence to construct huts along the Line of Actual Control in the Leh District.

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