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Updated February 11th, 2024 at 21:15 IST

CDS Directs Army Aid for Revival of Uttarakhand Border Villages Nelang and Jadhang near China Border

General Anil Chauhan tasked local Army units with aiding Nelang and Jadhang villages near the China border, part of efforts to boost tourism and livelihoods.

Digital Desk
CDS Gen Anil Chauhan visiting forward areas in Central Sector in Uttarakhand
CDS Gen Anil Chauhan visiting forward areas in Central Sector in Uttarakhand | Image:ANI
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Srinagar: The Chief of Defense Staff, General Anil Chauhan, has asked the local Army units to help and revive Nelang and Jadhang villages in Uttarakhand near the China border. People left these villages in 1962 during the war with China and settled in other places in Uttarkashi and nearby areas.

Strengthening of Border Villages Along LAC

Efforts to strengthen villages along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) have been going on for a few years under the Vibrant Villages program initiated by the Narendra Modi government, media reports said. "Operation Sadbhavana has also been extended to these areas where the Army formations can also carry out activities to support the villages," said defence officials.

During a recent visit to border areas in Uttarakhand, also known as the central sector along the LAC, the CDS instructed the local formations to help rehabilitate the villages of Nelang and Jadhang. According to reports, these villages are now being called the first villages of the country on the border. Various central and state agencies, including the local Army units, ITBP battalions, and civilian agencies, are responsible for their development.

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Speaking about the issue of who resides in the village, officials said,The first issue is the identification of the original citizens of these villages as the natives moved out in 1962, and now it is a tough task to identify the real inheritors of the land vacated by them. Many of the owners have died since then.”

Cultural and tourism boost

Efforts are being made to restart commercial activities to help villagers earn their livelihoods locally, an ANI report added. The Army in these border areas has the aim of promoting tourism by developing infrastructure similar to the age-old Chinese practice. "The skies are very clear in this area due to zero pollution and the altitude of 13,000 feet here. Stargazing can be a popular activity here, and we are trying to promote this as a tourism activity here," an Army official said.

Promoting the Jadh festival in the Jadhang village is also a focus. "The attempt is also to promote the Jadh festival of the Jadhang village, where the natives visit their local devatas (deities), and the Army is also trying to help them build their temples there," they said. The Army had also worked with civilian agencies to hold the Jadh community festival last year and plans to do so this year as well.

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Once commercial activities begin and road connectivity improves, the villages can be developed for tourism. The Army is also considering moving its units and establishments to forward areas to help rehabilitate Nelang village.

These villages, situated at around 13,000 feet altitude, are seen as among the most beautiful locations in Uttarakhand with significant tourism potential.

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Published February 11th, 2024 at 21:15 IST

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