Opening Ladakh's inner areas for foreign tourists taken up with MHA: J&K govt

Jammu and Kashmir government has taken up with the Centre the opening of inner line areas of Ladakh region for foreign tourists which are till now out of bounds for them as they are covered under the protected areas regime, the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly was informed on Sunday.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 22, 2015, 19:04 PM IST

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir government has taken up with the Centre the opening of inner line areas of Ladakh region for foreign tourists which are till now out of bounds for them as they are covered under the protected areas regime, the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly was informed on Sunday.

Replying to a question in the Legislative Assembly, Agriculture Minister Ghulam Nabi Lone said the Government has taken up the matter for permitting foreign tourists to visit Panamik-Warshi, including Yarma-Gonpa and Yarma Gonboo Monastry in Ladakh, with the Union Home Ministry recently.

He said that these areas fall in Northern Border Districts of Jammu and Kashmir and are covered by the protected area regime for foreigners.

The issue was raised by Congress member Nawang Rigzin Jora in the Legislative Assembly.

The minister informed that an order has already been issued by the government under which domestic tourists are now permitted to visit places beyond Panamik up to Warshi, including Yarma-Gonpa and Yarma Gonboo Monastry in Nobra sub-division tourist circuit.

He said that the government has identified tour circuits including Leh-Kharu-Changla-Durbuk-Tangse-Spangmik-Maan-Merak, Leh-Upshi-Chumathang-Mahey-Puga-Tsomoriri/Korzok, Leh-Upshi-Deprin-Puga-Tsomoriri/Korzok in Nyoma sub-division and Leh-Kharzongla-Khalsar-Tirthi upto Panamik, Leh-Kharzongla-Khalsar-Deskit-Kunder up to Turtuk-Pachathank and Leh-Saboo-Digar-Lobab-Khyungru-Tangyar in Nobra sub-division where foreign tourists are presently permitted to visit with certain conditions under the 'Protected Areas regime.

In reply to an another question by BJP member Daleep Singh Parihar, Lone informed that construction of wayside amenities at Kharra and construction of view point along Thathri-Gandoh-Kilothran road has been taken up at the total cost of Rs 7.84 crore under Bhaderwah-Bhallssa Tourist Circuit Development project.

He said development of tourist infrastructure is undertaken at potential tourist spots where suitable communication facility is available.

Congress Legislator G M Saroori demanded land compensation for construction of tourism projects already sanctioned by the Centre at various tourism spots in Kishtwar and Doda districts.