LEH: The main street of the capital town of Leh came alive with people flying festoons from homes as technocrat-turned-former bureaucrat Radha Krishna Mathur (66) was sworn-in as the first Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Ladakh here on Thursday.
The formation of the UT, however, evoked mixed reactions from political parties in the region, with those in Kargil observing it as a ‘black day’ and leaders in Leh seeing it as an opportunity for development.
Ladakh MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal said investors from multiple fields have shown keenness to invest in the region, with the tourism sector drawing maximum interest, besides in the field of solar energy, geothermal energy, medicinal plants and health infrastructure. "Ladakh as a UT will not only boost the development of the region but will also give it a new identity," he said.
However, several locals in Ladakh, both young and old, are apprehensive that new infrastructure projects and mega buildings in hilly areas might damage the ecologically sensitive and “fragile eco-system” of the region. Former MLA from Nubra Valley Deldan Namgyal said, "We welcome the decision of the UT but, we were expecting inclusion in the sixth schedule to protect our culture and economic aspects."
Markets were shut in Kargil town from Wednesday and a joint action committee, comprising political and religious groups, observed October 31 as a ‘black day’.
The CBDT on Thursday extended the deadline for filing of all kinds of income tax returns (ITRs) to November 30 in the newly created Union Territories (UTs) of J&K and Ladakh. The Central Board of Direct Taxes issued an order stating that “on consideration of reports of disturbances in internet facility in certain areas of J&K, the CBDT...further extends the due date for filing of ITRs and tax audit reports to November 30...”