Self drive cars in Ladakh - status & updates

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Self drive cars in Ladakh - status & updates

Postby aashish2137 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:36 pm

Yes, the news is true that rented Self Drive cars in Leh – Ladakh are FORCIBLY banned now by taxi union. Over the past few days, there have been several reports put up on various social media platforms and online travel forums/communities. Further, a lot of panic has been created in the last one week regarding traveling to Ladakh and travellers are now reconsidering their plans.

We would like to summarize the issues for you after going through all the sad incidents and also talking to various local people in Ladakh spanning from taxi guys to travel agents to hotel guys.

After all these discussions and incidents, we still strongly feel that as long as you’re following the taxi union forced rules, nothing will spoil your dream trip to Ladakh. The taxi union forced rule for Leh – Ladakh says "You cannot take any rented self drive car to Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri lake. In case you or anyone in your group will do, then the problem arise and you can be part of collateral too even if you have white plate car but someone in the group have rented self drive car. You can get into Leh from Srinagar or Manali and get out of Leh to Srinagar or Manali in any car including outside rented taxis, rented self drive cars too. The private white number plate car should be in the name of you or anyone in the car or belong to your family/father/company which you can prove to them with some proof, if confronted for white number plate. The moment they feel it is rented car going for sightseeing and does not belong to anyone in the car, you are in trouble."

It all began in June 2015 when the Ladakh Taxi Union reached their own (non-approved by administration, please read) resolution that the tourism potential of Ladakh is being exploited by use of malpractices such as private hired vehicles (white number plate), self drive vehicles (black number plate vehicles) and motorbikes for commercial use in Ladakh. The resolution can be found below:

11425088_10153118830793999_3113521058078823149_n.jpg
11425088_10153118830793999_3113521058078823149_n.jpg (38.91 KiB) Viewed 5261 times


Soon after the resolution, there were isolated incidents of blocking hired self-drive cars and bikes in Ladakh and forcing its occupants to hire a local vehicle to do sightseeing within Ladakh. In some cases, tyres were deflated, people were surrounded. You can even read the advisory issued by Zoomcar themselves to all their customers below as well:

Image

This clearly says, that Zoomcar also know about the taxi union forced rule and advice taking rented cars to sightseeing in Ladakh thereby. The law is legal or illegal, as of now it does not matter unless you want to go and fight it out in court which I feel similar case is being fought in Jammu High court against the ban of outside rented bikes not allowed in Ladakh for sightseeing since last year. But, yes this forced up issue or rule has been around now and also appears that will continue too. So, all fellow travellers must have caution that they are inline with this forced non-approved rule by taxi union.

However, in the past week, we have learnt of couple of very sad incidents where people from the local taxi union have attacked self-drive rental cars breaking their windshields, piercing body armour with metal rods and injuring occupants in the process :cry:… The height of insanity we feel of this forced upon rule.

From its discussions with sources and drivers in Ladakh, DoW has learnt that in addition to the attacks, tourists with private vehicles (white number plates) are also asked to prove that the vehicle belongs to them and isn’t hired. For example, it has been asked of the tourists that the person mentioned on the registration certificate of the vehicle should be present in the vehicle or if the vehicle belongs to a relative (father, mother, husband, wife), it has been asked to prove it using other documents like driving license, or so. The idea being, privately hired vehicles are also being confronted to control the malpractices of renting cars from outside Leh. But this might be a temporary phase for self drive cars with white number plates and in case you are in your own vehicle or someone with you, NOTHING TO WORRY AT ALL..

In view of the above, DoW would like to issue a strict advisory to all its members/readers to avoid using services of any self-drive rental company for sightseeing within Leh – Ladakh to Pangong Tso, Nubra Valley and Tso Moriri Lake. You can freely use such rental services to get in to Leh and get out of Leh without any issues. Till the time matter is not resolved or confronted, please stick to the rule to avoid any hassles.

While carrying your own can or car of some relative, please carry sufficient documents to prove ownership of your private vehicle to avoid any trouble at all. If the vehicle is not in your name, consider migrating the RC or at the very least, get a affidavit executed from the owner to prove that the vehicle is a private vehicle and isn’t used for commercial purposes. However we cannot assure if the local taxi union will accept such an affidavit or not. Just a thought on mitigating the risk, in case arise when car does not belong to you and not a rented self drive car.

DoW also suggests that every traveller should carry a copy of the resolution of the taxi union which mentions that "non-local vehicles will only be allowed to drive on the highways from Srinagar and Manali to Leh and fro". This will help you to avoid a confrontation with the taxi union if you’re driving to Leh, since you are allowed to park your vehicle in Leh and hire a local vehicle thereon.

DoW also suggests to an extent possible, avoid traveling in big convoy and rather go solo or in a small group of 3-4 cars at most for this season to avoid any issues of confrontation as well. Also avoid traveling with anyone who is using a hired self-drive car as you might find yourself in the line of fire and end up being under collateral damage.

Beyond what is discussed above, we do not believe there is any reason to panic or reconsider your dream trip to Ladakh. Until a resolution on the above activities is reached, please follow the taxi union forced upon rules to avoid hassles. However, shall a confrontation still occur, DoW recommends exercising restraint and resolving the matters amicably, offering to drive the vehicle to Leh, parking it there and hiring a local vehicle thereon.

EDIT: We DO UNDERSTAND that the livelihood of the people up there in Leh - Ladakh does depend upon the tourism and having self rented cars from outside Leh, may be 80-100 cars at a time in Leh is affecting the lives and earnings of 80-100 drivers and their families while benefiting the people outside Leh in commercial terms, however, we strongly condemn such acts by Taxi Union of hurting the tourists or travelers for such forced upon rules by them and not getting to the situation in sane way

Happy traveling guys !!
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Re: Self drive cars in Ladakh - status & updates

Postby aashish2137 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:38 pm

Quoting recent experience shared by Devils elsewhere on the forum

Raunaq wrote:Just got back from my ladakh trip..
Just wanted to tell how bad it is the mafia getting..(I guess big groups like DOW should boycott Leh for the moment)

Tried the route to tso moriri as suggested above. We were 7 guys and six girls. We reached there by 6.30pm. There were 5 to 6 taxi drivers there enquiring about the zoom car and in no time the number increased to 14-15.
They were very aggressive and wanted to break the windows of the car. They put big stones behind the car so that we can not move our vehicles.Understanding the hostility we tried to get them into a conversation and succeeded.The best part was we told them that we are coming from manali and not Leh. They started demanding RC's of the car.Calming them down took some effort and we also started supporting them and blaming the zoomcar people. Seeing our support, they told us to head back to Manali immediately.Request made to them for an overnight stay as it was raining and driving in night wasn't safe, was rejected. With no option left we headed out. With no food and water it was scary.The best thing that happened was that we asked army people for help.They not only provided us food and water but also offered us to stay over in their tents. But we did not want to take the risk of facing the taxi mafia again in the morning so we left tso moriri in pitch darkness at 9pm. Further story is that we we stayed in the car for the night at chungthan(near a army checkpost) and next day left for upsi and then to Manali.

I have heard more than this happening to my friends who visited leh at the same time and day by day this is increasing as they are now blocking private cars as well.

Another post from team BHP
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street-tr ... mafia.html

Please take caution if you are going there now and use the rented bikes to roam around(which are short in number now) and please don't go to any tourist place with any rented self drive or best BOYCOTT LEH/LADAKH for now and try north east


psawardekar wrote:hey..

finally back home from epic trip!! thanks a lot for all your help.... the pristine nature, bright beautiful climate, just loved it.. we had hired XUV500 from delhi (zoomcar) and rode all the way from delhi to Leh..
everything was so lovely except for the locals... had a terrible experience with local people.. they don't treat you like atithi(guest) , they treat you like invaders.. the stares we got were horrifying...

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street-tr ... mafia.html

we had somewhat similar experience... had a close escape... WE had talked to the president of taxi union, and they were proud to tell that any vehicle outside ladakh(JK 10 number plate) will be blocked and dealt the extremity.. he explained that since their tourism season lasts only 3-4 months, they have to make money by hook or crook.. thats why they are forcing everyone to take their taxis .. i agree.. tourism should generate local employment and help the economy but not to a level where they start to monopolise and loot you.. the taxi rates are abt 10 k for a days travel...

the loot started the moment we entered J&K border point where we had to pay roaad tox for 11 days.. thast is 11x100=1100.. owever the peroson sitting there asked for 1200.. when we told him we are there only for 11 days , he shamelessly replied "jaana hai ya cancel kar du.. 1200 de do... ya baaad me fine bharna"... :evil:
even when leaving J&k at sarchu and entering Himachal, we had to take stamp on that tax slip that we are leaving and that our 11 days in J&K are over.. for that stamp also, that bastard sitting there charged 50 rupees..

I dunno if this is normal in these parts of India.. I'm a resident of Goa where people are extremely helpful, loyal and caring..

i hated staying in the leh town.. everywhere we went, we got bullied and robbed.. I loved the entire journey from Delhi till we entered Leh.. we were targeted like anything..
however our guest house owner was really nice person. he gave us (and our car) refuge at his place hidden away from the taxi drivers..

to be true, We had carried loads of stuff to distribute among locals and Feni (Goan cashew drink).. but the experience was so pathetic with the locals, we gave all the stuff to the army people.. they were the best ...
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Re: Self drive cars in Ladakh - status & updates

Postby aashish2137 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:41 pm

@dheerajsharma14, request you to post it to the forum mailbox and FB pages.
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Re: Self drive cars in Ladakh - status & updates

Postby dheerajsharma14 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:45 pm

aashish2137 wrote:@dheerajsharma14, request you to post it to the forum mailbox and FB pages.

Aashish, put the images in the form and will mail the article to all.
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Re: Self drive cars in Ladakh - status & updates

Postby Lakshmi » Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:08 pm

There is already an update about this in DoW!! I read the post on team BHP and felt very bad. Not sure what is the story on the other side... Still, it is better for public to exercise caution.
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Re: Self drive cars in Ladakh - status & updates

Postby aashish2137 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:16 pm

Lakshmi wrote:There is already an update about this in DoW!! I read the post on team BHP and felt very bad. Not sure what is the story on the other side... Still, it is better for public to exercise caution.


The locals say that the convoy attacked/hurted the person stopping them first at Karu. Not sure who's right but the resolution is being implemented strictly now.
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Re: Self drive cars in Ladakh - status & updates

Postby dheerajsharma14 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:02 pm

Mithlesh writes here:

Hi All,

It is True as I took the Zoomcar in month of June along with 3 Bikes. When we were going to Nubra Valley then our car was stopped and they had forced us to park our Zoomcar Vehicle in our Hotel and took private Local Taxi. Though they gave us 30% discount but for 3-4 days that cost us 21000 INR because went from Nubra to Panghongh Lake and then returned to Leh. A big amount went from our pocket.
TAXI Union people were in a group of 10-15 members and they returned 3 ZOOMCAR in front of us and some White plate car rented, they also had to return. They were allowing only white plated car only and only if someone proved that the vehicle is of his/her name. Just be careful. Although from Delhi to Jammu/Shrinagar and then to Leh , there was no issue.
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Re: Self drive cars in Ladakh - status & updates

Postby kushc » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:22 pm

Image

Now thins thing has got me seriously thinking guys. It's enough to make an average tourist like me reconsider my plans.


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Re: Self drive cars in Ladakh - status & updates

Postby dheerajsharma14 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:55 pm

Kush, it seems quite bad really and scary too !! I had word with loads of people up there in Leh and among tourists too, various updates in HVK group too that all is fine in a private car and lot of people doing it. Only problem is self drive cars which are rented and though they are surely checking the private cars too and in case it is found to be not belonging to people in the car or their relative (mostly father), the problem is arising..
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Re: Self drive cars in Ladakh - status & updates

Postby kushc » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:05 pm

Dheeraj the problem is that the authorities seem to be doing nothing about it. Implementation of the local rules by a rogue Union is not the right answer. Self proclaimed vigilantes can never be trusted and no one seems to be held accountable. And then there is the mob mentality.


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