Siachen now open for tourism: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

From Siachen Base Camp to Kumar Post, the entire area has been opened for tourism purposes, Rajnath Singh said.

Siachen now open for tourism: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh
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New Delhi: The Siachen Glacier, world's highest battlefield, has now been opened for tourists, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced in Ladakh on Monday.

From Siachen Base Camp to Kumar Post, the entire area has been opened for tourism purposes, Rajnath said.

"Ladakh has tremendous potential in tourism. Better connectivity in Ladakh would certainly bring tourists in large numbers. The Siachen area is now open for tourists and tourism. From Siachen Base Camp to Kumar Post, the entire area has been opened for tourism purposes," read the Defence Minister's tweet. 

Rajnath was in Ladakh, along with Army chief General Bipin Rawat, to inaugurate the newly-constructed Colonel Chewang Rinchen Bridge across the Shyok River which will provide easy connectivity with the Daulat Beg Oldi sector along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

The bridge built by the Border Roads Organisation can accommodate vehicles of 70 tonnes class and is 4.5 metres wide. Colonel Chewang Rinchen was awarded Maha Vir Chakra in 1952.

The decision comes a few days ahead of Ladakh being declared a separate Union Territory on October 31. Ladakh shares its borders with China and Pakistan. While on the one side is the Siachen-Kargil-Drass axis on the Pakistan front, it shares a long border with China on the eastern side. 

The Indian Army had been allowing expeditions to Siachen in the late 1970s till they came to a total stop in 1984.

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In June 2019, Rajnath Singh, accompanied by General Rawat, had visited Siachen and praised the "tenacious resolve and unstinting commitment" of the soldiers deployed in the region. He had undertaken an aerial reconnaissance of the Siachen Glacier and interacted with troops at one of the forward posts.

(With agencies inputs)