The Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday ordered the creation of a separate administrative division for Ladakh region. This division will comprise Leh and Kargil districts and headquarters at Leh, according to a statement released by the state Department of Information and Public Relations.

The state will now have three divisions – Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

Ladakh region was earlier a part of the Kashmir division. The statement said people in the region had raised persistent demands for the creation of a separate division due to topographic conditions, unique cultural status and that it deserved special treatment due to the distance from the capital Srinagar.

It said a divisional commissioner and an inspector general of police for the Ladakh division will be appointed soon. A committee led by the principal secretary of planning will also be set up to finalise details on staffing, posts, responsibilities and location of offices.

At present, hill development councils take care of local governance in Leh and Kargil. The statement said both these districts remain cut off from the rest of the country for almost six months during winter. “The remoteness and inaccessibility of the area makes it eligible for establishing a separate division,” the statement said.