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Jammu: Mushkoh valley in Drass to open for domestic tourists

The authorities have asked for communication from the Army’s 14 Corps at the earliest, so that before the onset of the tourism season, proper regulatory mechanism is put in place.

Statesman News Service | Jammu |

The Ladakh administration is planning to open the Mushkoh valley in Drass and the various border destinations in Jammu and Kashmir for domestic tourists.
Tourism Secretary, K Mehboob Ali Khan discussed smooth regulation of tourist flow in the border areas and arrangement of police check posts for proper management of the tourists at a meeting in Jammu Saturday.
The meeting discussed a series of measures to make the Mushkoh valley in the Kargil district accessible to the tourists in a regulated manner.
The tourism secretary asked the Army’s 14 Corps to review and communicate their decision at the earliest, so that before the onset of the tourism season, proper regulatory mechanism is put in place.
Situated at 11,000 ft in Dras, the Mushkoh Valley is known to be the second coldest place in the world. It is also known as valley of wild tulips at the westernmost extremity of Ladakh.
Khan emphasized that proper identification of locations is required, where police posts are to be established for the regulation of tourists and visitors. Written communication from 14 Corps of the Army is required for all such areas so that the Tourism Department can notify these areas as open for the domestic tourists without any permission from any authority. This will help the tour operators from Ladakh and other places to accept bookings for such places.
Regarding the locations, Army’s 14 Corps and ITBP have no objection and they have assured that free movement shall be allowed in all these areas subject to the establishment of police posts at strategic locations for regulation and safety of tourists and visitors.
In order to regulate round-the-clock movement of the tourists in these areas, Khan issued necessary directions to DC and SSP of Leh to work on the establishment of police posts at the identified locations in consultation with 14 Corps and GOC-Leh Sub-area.
DIG, ITBP; DC, Leh; SSP, Leh; Director, Tourism; Lt. Col., GSO-1(INT)A, 14 Corps; SO to ADGP, Ladakh and other officials attended the meeting.
Khan also chaired another meeting where the issue of regulating off-roading by tourists and locals was discussed that could harm the wildlife and other eco-sensitive locations across Ladakh. It was decided to install hidden cameras at strategic and potential locations.
The meeting, further, highlighted a few locations such as Hanle, Pangong, Hunder, Tsokar, where maximum off-roading incidents take place. It further decided to discourage such activities  that disrupt the wildlife habitat.
Khan said that a significant role would be played by nearby village Panchayats in regulating such activities, for which necessary orders with the approval of the competent authority shall be issued. Further, frequent patrolling by the Ladakh Police, Wildlife Department and Tourism Department at pre-identified locations is required.