People in the newly-formed Union Territory of Ladakh are
demanding constitutional safeguards and strengthening of the already
existing Hill Councils in Leh and Kargil, to ensure protection of the
identity, land, jobs and culture of this region.
The formation of Ladakh as a Union Territory, locals claim, has
made them vulnerable to aggressive external influence, which has forced them to
demand protection at multiple levels.
Hundreds of locals across political, ethnic and religious divide
marched in Leh last month demanding constitutional safeguards for this
mountainous region, which remains cut off from the world for around six months,
as the two main highways from Srinagar and Manali are blocked due to heavy
The BJP government in Delhi passed the J&K Reorganization Bill
in August 2019 in Parliament through which the special status to J&K was revoked
and the erstwhile state was downgraded into two Union Territories of J&K and
“Ladakh should be protected like a museum for the whole country.
A law should be passed which ensures our land, culture and jobs are protected.
Our Hill Council Acts should be amended to make them stronger,” DorjeAngchuk,
BJP district president, Leh, told.
With the mercury decreasing over the last few days and fear
of coronavirus looming, experts have said there is no established
correlation between the variations in temperature and spread of COVID-19.
The experts said COVID-19 spreads through human contact. Mass
gathering has to be avoided and people need to take precautions like washing
hands, they added.
India has so far reported 43 coronavirus cases. According to
reports, the number of cases of novel coronavirus worldwide has crossed 110,000
people in 100 countries and territories with more than 3,800 dead.
The minimum temperature in the national capital, which has
witnessed a sudden dip in mercury, has been hovering around 11 to 12 degrees
Celsius for the last 3-4 days.
Dr Kishore Singh, the medical superintendent of LNJP Hospital of
the Delhi government, said coronavirus does not reproduce in warm conditions but
its lifespan increases in cold conditions.
"For instance, if it was supposed to live for eight hours, it
might live for one or two days. However, one has the risk of contracting
COVID-19 if one comes in close contact with a person who is affected by it. In
case you are having flu symptoms, you need to be cautious and otherwise also if
you take precautions, you will be safe," he explained.