JK to approach Def Min for resuming work at Sino-India border
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Last Updated: Thursday, December 10, 2009, 18:18
  
Jammu: After Chinese troops threatened Indian workers to stop road construction in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir Government on Thursday said it will soon formally approach the Defence Ministry for resuming work along the Sino-Indian border in the sector.

State Rural Development Ministry will be now moving the Defence Ministry for resumption of the work in Demchok sector located along the Sino-Indian border in Ladakh district, highly-placed sources in the state government said.

They said the work along the border in the Demchok sector had to be stopped after the Defence Ministry had raised objections with Deputy Commissioner (Leh) A K Sahu and asked them to stop the work.

A senior Jammu and Kashmir cabinet Minister, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the state government had never stopped the work and it was the Defence Ministry which had asked to do the same.

The Defence Ministry conveyed to the Deputy Commissioner of Leh to take permission for construction of roads within 15 kilometres of the border with China.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna had informed Parliament yesterday that the decision to stop work along the Sino-Indian border after Chinese protest was of the state Government and the Centre had no role in either starting or halting the project and that it was entirely an affair of the Jammu and Kashmir Government.

The work on a link-road in Demchok in South-eastern Ladakh region was stopped in October after objections were raised by the Chinese Army, barely months after repeated incursions by it in that particular area.

The incident took place at the village of Demchok on the Indian side of Line of Actual Control (LAC), 300 km south-east of Leh district headquarters, official sources said.

Work on the road, which was to connect two villages -- the last inhabited areas on the LAC -- was stopped during the last week of October, they said.

The road was being built under Centrally-sponsored National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).

After construction of nearly 3.8 kms of road, the Chinese Army sought a flag meeting with Indian Army and raised strong objections over the construction as they consider the area as disputed, officials said.

The state government sources also said that local Army commanders of the 14 Corps had been kept in the loop over the construction activities.

The state government had planned construction of seven link-roads in Niyoma and Demchok areas to increase connectivity and provide job opportunities to the people of this remote and treacherous mountainous region, which is close to the LAC. The road was the first such link between T-Point and CNN-Point.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, December 10, 2009, 18:18


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