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Ladakh’s Protest UPSC NOTE

 Formation of UT

  • In August 2019, the State of Jammu and Kashmir was split into two UTs: Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. It ended people’s exclusive rights to land and jobs.

  • Under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, Ladakh became a UT without a legislature.

  • The existing Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils (LAHDCs) in Leh and Kargil were rendered powerless after the national government declared Ladakh a UT.

  • The draft Ladakh Industrial Land Allotment Policy, 2023 is a case in point. While the LAHDCs have the powers to make decisions on land use and its management, the draft policy, which has been designed to attract investments in Ladakh, completely excludes them from having any powers related to land allotment and lease-related decision-making.

  • Villagers along the border region in Ladakh were losing grazing land to China, as well as to industries planning on establishing renewable energy projects in the region, and yet the affected residents lacked the authority to intervene in matters concerning their own land.

  • The Leh Apex Body (LAB) and the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) have contended that the Sixth Schedule could help tackle these issues because it enables the establishment of regional and district councils with the authority to make laws regarding land use for grazing, agriculture, residential purposes, and other purposes that cater to the residents’ interests.

    • The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution provides for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to safeguard the rights of the tribal population in these states. This special provision is provided under Article 244(2) and Article 275(1) of the Constitution.

Pressures on local resources

  • According to the data from the Ministry of Tourism, Ladakh is witnessing a high influx of domestic tourists. In 2022, more than five lakh domestic tourists visited the region.

  • Rapid urbanisation and increasing tourist footfall are exerting significant pressure on resources in Ladakh, particularly water.

  • To meet the water requirements, the dependence on underground water, which is often contaminated, had increased, according to the report by Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association, South Asia (BORDA-SA), and Ladakh Ecological Development

  • The pressure on resources is especially high during peak tourist season, between May and July each year, when about 70% of tourists visit the UT

Climate change threats

  • Ladakh has been affected by several floods, landslides, and extreme rainfall events

  • Several research articles state that due to increasing temperature caused by global warming, the number and sizes of glacial lakes in the Himalaya are increasing, and glaciers are shrinking.

  • This trend has increased the threat of possible Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) in Ladakh, especially from proglacial lakes that are formed at the edge of glaciers

  • Despite the challenges posed by climate change, mining and renewable energy companies are eyeing Ladakh, and tourism-related activities are on a rise.

  • With significant tourist influx, pollutants from vehicular traffic (like black carbon) will settle on snow and ice and expedite melting.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Ladakh’s Protest UPSC NOTE
Ladakh’s Protest UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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