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Leh: Apex Body Flags Deep Concern Over Land Allotment in new Industrial Policy

The policy would open the Ladakh region to big industries despite opposition from residents, and would also put the environment and its people at risk, umbrella body said.
Leh: Apex Body Flags Deep Concern Over Land Allotment in new Industrial Policy

Representational image. | image courtesy: Flickr

Srinagar: Top representative bodies in the Union Territory of Ladakh have raised concerns over a new industrial policy from the regional administration, claiming that it had been framed without the consent of the local stakeholders and puts the region’s fragile environment at further risk.

The objections were cited by the People’s Movement for the Sixth Schedule for Ladakh against the newly framed Ladakh Industrial Land Allotment Policy 2023, which, the body said sidelined the autonomous hill councils.

The policy, issued by Ladakh’s Department of Industries and Commerce, the locals argued, would open the region to big industries despite opposition from residents putting the region and its people at risk. 

According to a statement by the group, the members of Apex Body Leh, an amalgam of social, religious and political groups that was formed to advocate for the 6th Schedule for the UT in the aftermath of revocation of Article 370, held a meeting on Sunday where the policy was discussed. 

“Suggestions for amendment in the Ladakh Industrial Land Allotment Policy 2023, as per the aspiration of people of Ladakh if needed to be submitted to the UT administration by November 9, 2023,” the body said.

“It's important for industrial policies to consider the interests and well-being of the Ladakh. UT govt should have to involve all relevant stakeholders in the decision-making process to ensure a more balanced and equitable approach to industrial development in Ladakh,” Mukhtar Hussain, a youth Congress party leader wrote on X, formerly Twitter.  

Prominent political activist Sajjad Kargili, who is also a member of the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA), an advocacy group for the people of Kargil, said that the new policy posed a “significant risk” to the delicate environment of the region and also “threatens” the indigenous cultural identity of the region. 

“The introduction of this draft without the consent of the people of Ladakh is undemocratic and deeply concerning. Moreover, Undermining the opinions of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils (LAHDCs) indicates a continued disempowerment of the people of Ladakh,” he said. 

Kargilli also urged that it was imperative for the hill councils in both Leh and Kargil to unite against the policy was “against the interests of the local population.”

The apex body in Leh added that the members would resume their ongoing tour to various parts of the region to raise awareness at the grassroot level about the body’s four-point agenda including the 6th Schedule for Ladakh as a constitutional safeguard.

The campaign is part of the people’s movement demanding full-fledged statehood for the Ladakh region and additional Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha seats for Ladakh to strengthen the region’s representation and participation in the democratic processes.

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