Iconic Chadar Trek on Frozen Zanskar River to Undergo Temporary Modification Due to Ongoing Road Construction
The highly anticipated Chadar trek, a wintertime expedition through the breathtaking frozen Zanskar River in Ladakh, is set to undergo a temporary route adjustment this year due to ongoing road construction work being carried out by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO). This annual trek, a popular draw for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers, typically takes place in the harsh winter months when temperatures can plummet to minus 20°C or even lower in some parts of the region.
Recognizing the significance of the Chadar trek in promoting tourism and generating revenue for the region, Kacho Mehboob Ali Khan, Secretary Tourism, Ladakh, convened a meeting with relevant officials from the civil administration, police, BRO, and tourism stakeholders to explore the feasibility of conducting the trek on a truncated route.
The consensus among all stakeholders was that the ongoing construction work on the critical Nimu-Padum-Darcha road, being undertaken by the BRO under Project Yojak, should not be hindered due to the trek. This road project holds immense importance for improving connectivity and facilitating transportation in the remote Zanskar region.
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“The primary focus of the discussions was to ensure that the road construction work proceeds uninterrupted while also organizing the Chadar trek safely on a modified route along the Zanskar,” stated an administration official.
Deleks Namgyal, president of the All Ladakh Tour Operators Association (ALTOA), emphasized the need for a secure and uninterrupted stretch of at least 20 kilometers to provide a comprehensive trekking experience for tourists and trekking enthusiasts.
“To arrive at a practical and workable solution, a joint reconnaissance expedition has been scheduled for November 23,” announced Kacho Mehboob Ali Khan. “This team will comprise representatives from ALTOA, Ladakh Tourist Trade Alliance, Ladakh Mountain Guides Association, District Administration, Ladakh police, UT Disaster Relief Force, Tourism Department, and the BRO.“
The joint team will be tasked with identifying the starting and ending points of the modified Chadar trek route, as well as crucial locations for campsites, medical and rescue facilities, and police posts. This meticulous planning will ensure a safe and seamless trekking experience for all participants.
Khan emphasized that there will be no disruption to the road construction work, and the BRO will actively participate in the overall coordination exercise.
While the temporary modification to the Chadar trek route may pose some logistical challenges, it is a necessary compromise to accommodate the ongoing road construction project. The BRO’s efforts to improve connectivity in the Zanskar region will ultimately benefit the local community and enhance the tourism potential of the region in the long run.