Sliding of loose soil 5.5 kms from Shaday Sumdo forces authorities to close the glamorous trek on frozen Zanskar river. So, trekkers are advised to get in touch with their operators before stepping out
Chadar trek was all set to experience a grand opening in 2015 when the Executive Councilor for Zanskar Affairs Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Kargil Skalzang Wangail revealed an unfortunate situation. The EC, while speaking to media stated, “Now it is confirmed that the (Phuktal) river flowing from Shun got blocked near Marshun, at a distance of 5.5 km from Shaday Sumdo due to sliding of loose soil.” This has resulted in accumulation of huge amounts of water for a stretch of 5 kms towards Chumik Gyalsa.
Authorities haven’t been able to ascertain the exact impact of this natural slip-up as water has frozen over the affected area. Nevertheless, a chopper hovered over the area to give an estimation that the sliding of soil from one side of the mountain is 250 feet. Owing to this fact, EC has further cautioned trekkers saying, “The accumulated water can burst any time and is posing great danger to the traveller on Chadhar and villages located near river at low lying areas.”
Soon after, an emergency meeting was held by Deputy Commissioner of Kargil Mohammad Sadiq Sheikh. This meeting was attended by the EC of LAHDC Kargil, officers of army, BRO, NHPC and Air Force. And the authorities have come to a consensus of halting the Chadar trek with immediate effect. A disaster management team has also been mobilised to help arrest any impending damage and to alert the neighbouring villages.
Trekkers who had geared up for the Chadar trek have now been requested to get in touch with their operators to shift them to an alternate trek. Sham Valley is one of the alternatives that tour and trek operators are looking at.
We await further news on Chadar trek issue. Stay clued in to this space for more updates.