LG Mathur inaugurates water ATMs across the Leh town, directs HUD Dept to bring both cities into country’s Top 10 cleanest cities Ladakh Smart City Development Authority to be constituted for planned development of Greater Leh & Greater Kargil region
Leh Aug 13: Third in series of the Ladakh Development Conclave was chaired by Lt. Governor RK Mathur at the Ladakh Club building in Leh to discuss the perspective plans of the Housing & Urban Development sector.
The conclave commenced with a presentation giving an overview of the Vision and status of various proposed and ongoing projects under the Housing & Urban Development Department by Ajeet Kumar Sahu, Commissioner Secretary, H&UD, covering various aspects of urban planning, mobility, public utilities, beautification, sanitation etc. Besides, consultant agencies also presented the status of preparation of the Master Plan of both the cities.
Addressing the event, Lt. Governor RK Mathur stressed the need for coordinated sustained efforts by all stakeholders to materialize the vision of 2050 of sustainable development in Ladakh. He stated that the executing agencies need to take climate changes into consideration while designing any infrastructure project. He said that some water-related disasters are unavoidable but the ones caused by unplanned constructions blocking the paths of the non-perennial waterways and flood plains must be prevented by proper planning.
He further stated that in years to come, Ladakh will reach nearer to achieving the goal of Carbon Neutrality and will target to have transportation systems driven by renewable sources like hydrogen, solar and electricity. Speaking in this regard, LG Mathur stated that the designs for infrastructure involving mobility should keep these aspects in mind and the town plans should have space for charging and refill stations for these vehicles.
In terms of mobility and transportation, LG Mathur complimented the Traffic Police Department of Leh and the intervention of the Chairman LAHDC Leh in solving the traffic congestion issue in the town. He asked for a similar effort to be made for Kargil.
Further, the Lt. Governor urged that the Councils and Administration should work together against land encroachment and expressed the need to take appropriate actions against violations of construction and environmental laws.
Alongside the event, LG Mathur virtually inaugurated the Water ATMs for Leh town. Ten Water ATMs have been stationed at different locations across the Leh town and peripheral areas. These Water ATMs are based on ultra-filtration technology and dispense both normal and warm water on payment of prescribed charges either through coins or smart cards. These Water ATMs shall function throughout the year including extreme winters and will reduce the usage of bottled water. Its usage would be monitored through an online portal as all these ATMs are connected online.
Speaking during the event, Chairman, LAHDC Kargil, Feroz Ahmed Khan highlighted the problems of Kargil city like unplanned construction, traffic congestion, shortage of manpower etc. and expressed satisfaction that with the planned interventions these long pending issues would be solved.
Sharing his views on the topic, Chairman, LAHDC Leh, Advocate Tashi Gyaltson appreciated the Department for organizing the conclave and stressed the need for planning stating the issues arising due to haphazard and unplanned construction. He stated that migration from rural to urban areas in search of employment opportunities and facilities also needs relevant attention by planned development in rural areas. Further, CEC Tashi expressed the need to develop an economy based on more reliable sectors than dependency on tourism.
Addressing the event, Advisor, Umang Narula, congratulated the Department on the successful deployment of the Water ATMs which will considerably reduce plastic waste in the town. He added that Leh is growing in terms of infrastructure and utilities but the need of the hour for sustainable growth in a regulated and planned manner.
Principal Secretary, Pawan Kotwal urged on addressing the issue of unregulated heights of building constructions. He suggested issuing standing instructions to incorporate solar passive construction technologies and the inclusion of Sewage Treatment Plants in commercial buildings being constructed in Ladakh. ADGP Leh, Satish Khandare stressed on inclusions of fire safety measures and obtain the NOC of the traffic department while issuing permission of commercial buildings. He suggested that for an efficient traffic plan, the Traffic Police department be included in the initial planning phase of various projects.
Secretary Power Development Department stated that the prospects of underground wiring systems are being explored.
The meeting witnessed sharing of views and suggestions on addressing planning and sanitation concerns along with presentations from the planning consulting agencies. President MC of Leh and Vice President MC Kargil also highlighted the issues of the ULBs in the meeting especially concerning the shortage of manpower and non-availability of engineering wing with ULBs.
The meeting concluded with discussions on the carrying out Health, Cleanliness and Educational drives as part of the Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav.
The meeting was attended by CEC Kargil, Feroz Ahmed Khan; CEC Leh Tashi Gyalson; Advisor Umang Narula; Principal Secretary Pawan Kotwal; Commissioner Secretary, Ajeet Kumar Sahu; ADGP, Satish Khandare; Divisional Commissioner, Saugat Biswas; Administrative Secretary, Padma Angmo; Secretary, Mehboob Ali Khan; Administrative Secretary Ravinder Kumar; Director, ULB, Dr. Zahida Bano; President MC Leh, Dr. Ishey Namgyal; Vice President MC Kargil, Gulzar Hussain, along with officials of Municipal Committees, Leh & Kargil and experts from the consulting agencies.