NEW DELHI: The Siachen area is “now open” for tourists and tourism, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday after inaugurating a strategically important bridge connecting on the Shyok river in Eastern Ladakh.
There is already an annual Siachen civilian trek from Siachen Base Camp to Kumar post facilitated by the Army since 2007. Rajnath was in Ladakh for inauguration of the strategic ‘Col Chewang Rinchen Setu’ — India’s highest altitude all-weather permanent bridge — on Shyok River.
“The Siachen area is now open for tourists and tourism. From Siachen Base Camp to Kumar Post, the entire area has been opened for tourism purposes,” Singh tweeted. Better connectivity in Ladakh would certainly bring tourists in large numbers, he tweeted.
The bridge falling on the 255-km long Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Baig Oldie (DS-DBO) road between Leh and Karakoram Pass will give an all weather access to the Advanced Landing Ground located at 16,700 ft altitude. The Border Roads Organisation constructed the 1,400 ft long bridge as part of construction of strategic roads for facilitating faster movement of military and its logistics.
“This bridge has been completed in record time,” Rajnath said. Altogether, 61 roads measuring 33,23.57 km are identified as strategically important. These roads will enhance accessibility to border areas where infrastructure and forward connectivity are lacking.