SRINAGAR: In a significant development poised to give a boost to tourism in Ladakh, the Indian Army has made a decision to permit tourists to visit the Siachen glacier, The Tribune reported.

This icy expanse serves as the highly militarized base camp of the world’s highest battlefield. Now, tourists can embark on this extraordinary journey without the need for prior permission or a no-objection certificate (NOC). This decision comes as a result of persistent efforts by the Tourism Department of Ladakh, which has long advocated for border tourism.

The Ladakh Tourism Department had been actively lobbying the Army to grant access to domestic tourists at the Siachen base camp in the Nubra region without requiring an NOC. Acknowledging the significance of this initiative, the Ladakh police have been instructed to establish checkposts in the area to effectively manage the influx of tourists to the Siachen base camp.

However, it is important to note that tourists will be required to pay an environment fee as part of their visit to the base camp, ensuring the preservation of the pristine surroundings.

According to a notification obtained by The Tribune, Muhammad Ali Tak, the Under Secretary to the Tourism and Culture Department, affirmed the demands made by the people of Nubra and the tourism stakeholders in Ladakh. Over the past two years, the Tourism Department has diligently pursued the case for opening up the Siachen base camp to tourists. In response, the 14 Corps headquarters communicated that authorization is not necessary for visiting the civilian tourist facility near the Siachen base camp.

Furthermore, Kacho Mehboob Ali, the Secretary of Tourism, has long been striving to enable tourists to explore the border areas along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Line of Actual Control (LAC). While the Army recently conveyed its willingness to permit tourists to visit the Galwan Valley in close proximity to the LAC, it emphasized the need for further deliberation before implementing this decision.


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