A new satellite image showing China building a bridge on its side of the Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh emerged on Monday amid the prolonged Sino-India military standoff in the border area.
People familiar with the development said the satellite imagery is on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control(LAC) near the Galwan valley region. The armies of India and China had created a buffer zone in Galwan valley following their deadly clashes on June 15, 2020.
On January 1, Indian and Chinese troops exchanged sweets and greetings at ten border posts along the LAC, including eastern Ladakh, to mark the New Year.
The sources said the bridge is at a distance of around 40 km from the alignment of the LAC in the region and that India has also been developing infrastructure in the area at a rapid pace.
Geo-intelligence expert Damien Symon posted a satellite image on Twitter suggesting that China constructed a new bridge to link Pangong lake’s North and south banks.
Military experts said the aim of constructing the bridge in the Khurnak area could be to ensure that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army(PLA) can mobilise its troops in the region quickly.
The Indian military sources said India has been developing infrastructure in all critical areas along the LAC and that India is aware of Chinese activities in the region.
Last week, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the Chisumle-Demchok road at Umling La Pass at over 19,000 feet in Ladakh, considered a key stretch for military purposes.
China has been focusing on strengthening its military infrastructure after Indian troops took control of several strategic peaks on the southern bank of Pangong lake in August 2020 after the Chinese PLA attempted to intimidate them in the area.
The eastern Ladakh border standoff between the armies of India and China erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake area.
Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers and heavy weaponry. As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and the Gogra area.
Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive sector.
In October, the 13th round of Corps Commander-level military talks ended in a stalemate with the Indian Army, saying that the “constructive suggestions” were not agreeable to the Chinese side.
Last Friday, the defence ministry said it held several rounds of military talks with the Chinese side to deescalate the situation in eastern Ladakh without compromising on its stand of “complete disengagement and immediate restoration of status quo ante”. However, India insisted on returning to the status quo before the face-off erupted.
Two feared dead after drowning in Chenab
Two Punjab residents are feared dead in river Chenab in J&K’s Ramban district, officials said on Friday.
According to an official the truck, two were travelling in, is parked on Jammu-Srinagar while the duo was seen by someone drowning.
“The person subsequently raised the alarm and massive searches headed by SSP Ramban Mohita Sharma and SHO Ramban Sandeep Charak were launched,” an official said.
A police officer identified the missing duo as Manjeet Singh son of Dalgeet Singh and Jatinder Singh son of Mangal Singh, both residents of Amritsar Punjab. When this report was filed, the searches in the area were going on.
Detention of NC leader and PAGD chief Farooq Abdullah undemocratic, says Cong’s GA Mir
On Saturday, Congress’ Jammu and Kashmir chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir said the “house arrest” of National Conference president Farooq Abdullah was “unethical and undemocratic”.
Political leaders, including Farooq Abdullah, were detained ahead of a march by the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) to protest against the recommendations of the Delimitation Commission on Jammu and Kashmir.
Besides Farooq Abdullah, the president of the alliance, his son Omar Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti have been detained.
“Keeping under house arrest prominent leader like Dr Farooq Abdullah ahead of a proposed sit-in protest against Delimitation Commission draft is a sham, unethical and against the basic foundation of the Indian democracy which stands guarantee to freedom of speech and freedom of expression to every citizen,” Mir said in a statement here.
He said the “house arrest” was indeed a “gift” on the New Year’s occasion by the government and condemned the “illegal house arrest” of Abdullah and other leaders of the PAGD.
The PAGD is an alliance formed by five Jammu and Kashmir-based mainstream political parties, including the National Conference and the PDP, that seeks to restore the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir that the Centre revoked in August 2019.
The Congress believes such a “undemocratic move” (detention of leaders) is bound to “further disappoint” the people of Jammu and Kashmir, “who have already lost faith” in the present dispensation, Mir said.
“Restraining” leaders from protesting peacefully is “indicative of hypocrisy on the part of the BJP government,” the Congress leader said.
Medanta, Apollo, Haldiram, others to sign MoUs for investment in J&K on Dec 27
Medanta, Apollo and Haldiram are among the few big names which will sign non-binding Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) running into thousands of crores with the Housing and Urban Development Department (H&UDD) here on December 27 in the presence of Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta and other top bureaucrats of Central and Jammu and Kashmir Governments.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the Industries & Commerce Department would sign MoUs to establish hospitals in Jammu and Kashmir by Medanta and Apollo Groups. The Department will also sign MoU with Haldiram to establish its Units in J&K.
The H&UDD and Real Estate Companies will sign 15 non-binding MoUs for real estate development in the Union Territory.
In the presence of Hardeep Singh Puri, Dr Jitendra Singh, Manoj Sinha, Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, vice chairman National Real Estate Development Corporation (NAREDCO), Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Dheeraj Gupta, Principal Secretary H&UDD, the Tenancy Act will be adopted. At the same time, Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) will launch Jammu and Kashmir. In addition, the real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) portal and registration & approval under RERA will also be launched on occasion.
“Jammu Kashmir Housing Board (JKHB) will sign MoU with the Central Government Employees Welfare Housing Organization (CGEWHO), Ministry of Housing and Urban Development for construction of residential accommodation for Central and Union Government employees. In addition, the launch of Auction Portal and Auction of assets of Housing Board and Jammu Development Authority (JDA) under it will also be done,” sources said.
The H&UDD and NAREDCO will sign MoU for skilling under National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) in the Union Territory. SOURCES SAID THAT the NAREDCO would also sign MoU for Real Estate Development with NARDECO Jammu and Kashmir.
They added that NAREDCO would sign MoU with LEADs for investment in the Real Estate sector. It will also enter into MoU with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to train, handhold, and strengthen the Real Estate Agent network in Jammu and Kashmir.
The day-long function will also see the unveiling of policies/MoUs, inaugural of skilling initiative and launch of the book.
On occasion, top bureaucrats will address several sessions from Central and Jammu and Kashmir governments. The topic includes ‘Vision Jammu and Kashmir for Real Estate: Sector Overview, Opportunities and Challenges. ‘Catalyst to Growth: Ease of Doing Investment in Jammu and Kashmir’, ‘Opportunity for Investors: Affordable Housing, Luxury Housing, Second Home, Rental Housing in J&K’ and ‘Next Destination J&K: Tourism, Films & Entertainment, Logistics, Commercial, Warehousing’.
Sources said the Central and Jammu and Kashmir Governments are expecting investments running into thousands of crores in the Real Estate sector, also following the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019, and bifurcation of the erstwhile State into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
“The Jammu and Kashmir Real Estate Investors Summit 2021” is the first of its kind in the Union Territory post-August 5, 2019 decisions.
In 2019, the Jammu and Kashmir Government had planned the Investors Summit in Jammu and Kashmir, but the proposal was shelved due to the outbreak of Coronavirus. Later, the J&K received an unprecedented response to its Industrial Development Scheme and the need wasn’t felt to have the Summit.
As per the latest figures, Jammu and Kashmir has already received Rs 31,000 crore worth of investment proposals and approved more than 50 per cent of them. The Government is expecting the bids to cross Rs 50,000 crore shortly.
Recently, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha stated that industrial development would be taken to village, block and tehsil levels to develop the rural areas.
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