CHANDIGARH—Going by the precept that ‘India’ can only be safe if ‘Border Bharat’ does. On this precept, Dr Ritesh Arya, a renowned international Geologist has been pleading to make border villages on LAC and LOC in a number of seminars so that locals can be a force on our borders and in turn, the area will require less military force. He was sure that this decision would definitely prove revenue booster dose to the border villages and the government. It will resolve to develop and strengthen their economic condition and equip them with modern basic facilities with improving the quality of life of border villages so that they can hold a candle to developed ‘India.’ He has welcomed the decision of the Indian Army to open the Siachen sector for tourists. He said that the step would not only uplift the economic stature of locals but also a ‘first defense’ to check infiltrations and misadventures from other sides of the border.
He said that the decision to issue Permit till Siachen and Kumar post would be a very welcome step. Earlier the tourist in the Nubra Siachen sector could go till Sasoma only. The Nubra valley in Siachen Sector which means valley of flowers as in summers it is full of wild roses. The opening of the road till Siachen will open up the highest battlefields in the world to civilians.
This step will help in the permanent protection of the borders and the civilians will get the necessary economic boost which was missing and making them flee from the border villages. Speaking on the occasion of World Conservation Day Dr Ritesh Arya Guinness World record holder welcomed the decision of the Indian army and was happy that the dream which he made in 2011 for de-militarisation and encourage tourism while digging a bore well for Indian army in Siachen where lukewarm water was encountered has been fulfilled.
His association with Siachen base camp has been a very memorable journey. In 1999-20 he was given the task to explore groundwater for Indian Air Force at Those. The typical problem in Those airfields was that in winters the pipeline below the airfield used to burst and the entire airstrip would become non-functional for IAL the only lifeline connection between Chandigarh- Siachen Sector. He explored sites and developed groundwater resources on the higher elevation on the other side and the problem of the airstrip was solved. The station is getting a 24×7 water supply.
Later Kargil War broke and the entire Siachen Sector was under high alert. Dr APJA Kalam was Defence Secretary and Dr Atree was an advisor and had a mission to make the entire Partapur sector self-sufficient in food resources so that dependency from Chandigarh could be reduced and locals could also get a permanent source of income by selling their vegetables and milk. A pilot project was undertaken at Field Research Laboratory (FRL) Partapur.
Dr Pandey was in charge and had worked tirelessly to irrigate the land by pumping water from Shyok River also known as the sorrow of India, Dr Arya explored and provided groundwater in the fields. The land was so fertile that in the first year the agricultural production increased to more than 50 per cent.
Dr Ritesh Arya who has been working in Ladakh for the last 23 years is now a happy man that his wish of making Siachen a tourist destination has been fulfilled. Now he dreams big and has prepared a road map to the extent the Adventure trial proposed by the army on way back from Siachen to Galwan in Shyok Valley via Sasoma enter into Durbuk and from there to Pangong Hot Spring and in Marsmickla and then via Lukung and Thakung along the banks of the Pangong to Chushul and from there to Demchuk via Loma thereafter having parikrama of Chota Kailash takes a turn to Hanley visit the highest observatory in the World and then via Chumar and Tso moriri back to Leh via Chumathang the hot spring region.
This entire circuit will be the ultimate dream of the tourists at large who want to experience the extreme adventurous terrains in the Himalayas which has no parallel with each passing kilometers.