JK to approach Def Min for resuming work at Sino-India border

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.


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

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