Zanskar-Kargil road to open within two weeks

Reports coming in from the field state that the road linking Padum with Kargil will be open to traffic within two weeks. Despite periods of heavy snow last winter the Pensi La is expected to be clear for vehicular traffic much earlier than usual. As the road is still closed and the chaddar is no longer navigable some 280 Zanskaris of all ages have recently been flown home courtesy of the Indian Air Force.

Animal Husbandry Department’s information campaign in Zanskar

This Greater Kashmir article documents what was once a very rare event: Zanskar's Department of Agriculture leaving their warm office and visiting villages to impart their agricultural and animal husbandry know-how. Fortunately things have improved since the posting of Norboo and Rigzin, two enthusiastic (Zanskari) Junior Agriculture Officers. I must admit my faith in the department was reinstalled when I met these officers at a conference convened to tackle the Locust problem in 2006. Of course being Zanskaris these officers are local and passionate about the area, they are aware of the agricultural differences between Ladakh and the majority of India, and moreover, being posted to Padum is not considered to be a hardship as both hail from villages no more than an hour away by jeep. One only has to look at the problems staffing schools to realise that non-Zanskaris posted to Zanskar have a hard time staying at their post. Lets hope the standard of education continues to improve in Zanskar and more educated Zanskaris choose to return and invest their skills in the future of this remote area.

Thanks to Marco Vasta for this link.