Srinagar Sep 8: The ongoing face-off between India and China is badly impacting the economy of Ladakh region.
The incursions began in May this year in Galwan valley and Pangong Lake along the LAC in Ladakh after Chinese troops apparently entered into India’s territory. On June 15, 20 Indian soldiers were killed by Chinese troops in Eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, which led both the nuclear countries on the brink of war.
Since then there is tension along the LAC. People of Ladakh are worried over the ongoing dispute along the LAC especially in the Pangong lake area, which is the prime tourist destination in the new Union Territory.
Pangong Lake is the prime tourist destination where thousands of tourists visit every year.
Tsewang Yangjor, a prominent hotelier, said Ladakh is mainly dependent upon tourism.
“Representatives of hoteliers, transporters, restaurant owners also presented a memorandum before the Lieutenant Governor that we should be provided some relief as we have been badly hit first by pandemic and now border tensions,” Yangjor told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service KINS.
He asked the government to resolve the border issue.
“If the issue is not resolved the no tourist will visit here. The situation is fragile here,” he said.
Deleks Namgyar, who runs his own travel agency ‘Ladakh Safari’ said the COVID-19 pandemic hit his business badly.
“All the bookings have got cancelled which cost us crore of rupees. Now tension along LAC is hitting us badly,” he told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service KINS
This year has been a toughest year for people associated with tourism sector in Ladakh.
Tourism is considered the backbone of Ladakh economy on which seventy percent people are directly and indirectly dependent. The tourism generates revenue of Rs 600 crore annually in Ladakh.
“This year has been a zero income for 350 travel agencies operating in Ladakh,” he said, who is also General Secretary of Ladakh Tour and Travel Agents Operators.
“Pangong Lake is the most sought destination and majority of people visit Ladakh because of this famed lake. There won’t be any tourism in next year if the tensions along the LAC. Both countries should resolve their issues so that we don’t have to bear the brunt of the ongoing tensions,” he said.
Pangong Tso (Tso in Tibetan language means lake) is a long narrow, deep, endorheic (landlocked) lake situated at a height of more than 14,000 ft in the Ladakh Himalayas. The 135 km-long lake sprawls over 604 sq km in the shape of a boomerang, and is six km wide at its broadest point.
As things stand, 45 km-long western portion of the lake is under Indian control, while the rest is under China’s control.
The Pangong Lake has become famous since Bollywood film 3 Idiots was shot there in 2009.