After incursions in Ladakh, the Chinese have built double storey houses for its shepherds near the pastures of Demchok just across the Line of Actual Control (LAC). These houses visible from the Indian side have been provided with 24×7 electric supply and 4G network.
Pictures of the newly built housing colony have been shared on the social media by Konchok Stanzin, councillor of the Chushul constituency and former executive councillor of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) of Leh.
“China has built double story for their nomads at #Demchok with planned manner.Nomads are always encouraged by providing all facilities, like 24×7 light, 4G network & infrastructure like that. I am requesting #GOI for same to residents of border”.
China’s move is being seen as an act of dominance in the area in wake of recent skirmishes between Indian and Chinese troops over territory in the region.
Chinese troops regularly patrol the area and there were reports that they do not allow the Ladakhi shepherds graze their sheep and yaks on the winter pastures of the Indian side of the LAC.
Incursion by the Chinese troops in the Chumur and Demchok areas of Ladakh has cut off the nomadic Changpa shepherd community in general from reaching the traditional winter pastures in the Khakjung area.
Shepherds in about 13 villages of Ladakh along the LAC with China in the Nyoma and Changthan are not being allowed to reach the pastures with their cattleheads, including Pashmina goats and Yaks, because of presence of Chinese troops in the adjoining areas.
The Divisional Commissioner of Ladakh Union Territory (UT), Saugat Biswas, recently made an aerial survey of the Khakjung pastures for a better understanding of the issues of the nomadic tribes. The Sarpanch of Nyoma, Tashi Dawa, recently told The Statesman over the phone that the nomads were facing problems as they were not being allowed to go beyond Point-36 that is far behind the pastures. Before the Chinese incursion, they used to go beyond the point 37 to graze their cattle. The Chinese Army is reported to have occupied about 2 acres of cultivable and pasture land in Chumur and also intruded upon vast areas of the traditional pastures in Demchok.
Dawa said that the Chinese troops were keeping strict vigil over the pastures and were creating problems for the shepherds if they tried to reach there. The nomads traditionally camp in these areas for about two months because Ladakh has always remained deficient of fodder for the cattleheads. Fodder is generally transported to Ladakh from Punjab and Haryana. Chushul, Chumur and Demchok produce fine quality Pashmina wood that fetches high price in the market.
The Chinese troops were reportedly using drones and helicopters to keep the Indian shepherds away from the pastures. Nyoma borders the Chinese occupied Tibet on the south and east. In a bid to review the situation, Biswas visited the Nyoma Sub-Division and interacted with the villagers and elected representatives of Tsaga, Muth, Dumti, Koyul, Chumur and Demjok villages. He also met the Sarpanches,
Councillors of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), various departmental officers and officers of the Army, Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP and the UT Police. He ordered that the Sub- Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Nyoma, will be the Nodal Officer for management of the movement of nomadic tribes to the winter pasture lands.
Sarpanches of 13 Gram Panchayats of Nyoma Sub- Division put forth various issues confronted by the villagers especially during the winter months.