New Delhi: The Centre has released the new map of India after Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh formally came to existence as two Union Territories on October 31. India now has 28 states and 8 Union territories. With this move, the boundaries of the newly created UTs have been specified.
The Ladakh division of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir had a large but sparsely populated area. “There has been a long-pending demand of people of Ladakh to give it the status of a Union Territory to enable them to realise their aspirations,” read the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the J&k Reorganisation Act.
In a historic move, a bill to bifurcate the state of Jammu and Kashmir was passed by Parliament in August. Home minister Amit Shah in his address said that the reorganisation was necessitated by the constant threats of cross-border terrorism in J&K and the demand of the people of Ladakh.
On October 31, the L-Gs of the UTs also took the oaths.
The newly released map doesn’t take account of Aksai Chin and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Gilgit-Baltistan is shown to be part of Ladakh and PoK as part of J&K UT.
The release of the map comes at a time when China has raised an objection to the bifurcation of the erstwhile state and claimed that some of China’s territory has been included in India’s administrative jurisdiction. The map, however, takes account of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
“The Indian government officially announced the establishment of so-called Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh Union Territories which included some of China’s territory into its administrative jurisdiction,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang had said.