Srinagar: There is a lot of pressure from locals of Leh and adjacent villages, especially the border villages, on the newly elected Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) to ease their life. “Dozens of delegations have already apprised them about the difficulties and the economic depression being faced by the people of Ladakh due to the standoff and also after becoming a Union Territory,” said Bakar Chu, a local reporter from Leh.

He said that there is a sense of ease in the past three days, as reports are coming from border villages that there would be an ease in the prevailing situation as several rounds of talks between the Chinese PLA and Indian Army have started showing results.

Reports from Leh said that after getting feedback from the councillors and also from delegations that came to meet CEO (LAHDC) Leh, Tashi Gyalson, he met the Union Defence minister in New Delhi and submitted a memorandum with demands from the people of Ladakh.

Tashi Gyalson told local reporters of Leh that they have been assured by Rajnath Singh that after easing the situation on the borders, they will take a final call about the demand for bunkers for villagers living in the frontline areas of the border in eastern Ladakh.

They talked in detail about the economic depression and about the suffering of those hundreds of families who used to take livestock for grazing near the eastern Ladakh border. The delegation of LAHDC also demanded that the base of the Siachen glacier be opened for tourists so that locals can earn their livelihood.

A LAHDC spokesman told media in Leh that the delegation, while meeting Rajnath Singh, sought bunkers for civilians living along the border, especially in the backdrop of hovering war clouds.

“The delegation also sought permission and NOC from the Defence ministry to operate Jio in Demchok where tower is already installed,” the spokesperson said.

Recently, the BJP won the LAHDC elections as they got 15 out of 26 seats and Tashi Gyalson was elected the Chief Executive Councilor. Giving details of their memorandum submitted to the Union government, the LAHDC spokesman said that insurance cover and better wages for local labourers deployed in Siachen were also demanded. They also demanded that the army vacate 23 kanals of land at Thoise Nubra for implementation of the UDAN scheme.

The delegation also said that for army recruitment, local Ladakhis should be given preference as they were mostly used as porters. LAHDC has also asked for regularisation of local porters and also preference for locals in the various works in the army camps, especially during the winters.

The past 15 months have left the Ladakh region without any tourism as it was one of their main economic planks and now, the standoff in the eastern Ladakh has further added to people’s economic suffering and unease.