Leh (NVI): Steps have been initiated to facilitate tourism to Siachen Glacier in newly-created Ladakh Union Territory, almost a month after the government announced that the highest battlefield of the world would be opened for civilians.
A group of tour operators from Leh visited the once-forbidden area from November 14 to 16 on a familiarization trip to explore how tourists could be taken there. They went to the Siachen Base Camp, which is situated at about 18,000 ft, under the banner of All Ladakh Tour Operator Association (ALTOA).
Lok Sabha member from Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal shared the information by tweeting: “After announcement of opening of Siachen Basecamp for Tourist by @rajnathsingh @DefenceMinIndia a team of Local Travel Agents of Ladakh under the banner of ALTOA visited the site to inspect the viability so the tourists can be accommodated in next season”.
After announcement of opening of Siachen Basecamp for Tourist by @rajnathsingh @DefenceMinIndia a team of Local Travel Agents of Ladakh under the banner of ALTOA visited the site to inspect the vaibilities so the tourists can be accommodated in next season. pic.twitter.com/vVP0XrFfB5
— Jamyang Tsering Namgyal (@MPLadakh) November 17, 2019
On October 21, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced that Siachen Glacier area will be open for tourists now.
The Siachen Glacier area in the Karakoram mountains used to be a non-militarised zone till 1984, before India rushed its Army to the region under ‘Operation Meghdoot’ to pre-empt a bid by Pakistan to deploy its armed forces there.
Prior to the ‘Operation Meghdoot’, India used to allow mountaineering expeditions to the region where the border is not properly defined under the Karachi Agreement of 1949.
In 2005, when the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Siachen, he had pitched for converting Siachen into a “mountain of peace”.