After Tosha Maidan, Omar Abdullah government has withheld extension of lease to Indian army for Kaleeth firing range near Palanwalla in Akhnoor.
Palanwalla Brigade Commander Brigadier R S Bhadauria said that ten-year lease for Kaleeth firing range came to an end in June 2014. Though the request for renewal of lease was made well before June last, the government permission has not come, he said, adding that earlier orders regarding extnsion of lease used to come well in time.
The delay in extension of lease has led to suspension of practice firing by 16 Corps as Kaleeth is the only firing range in Jammu region. The army resorts to practice firing to maintain their fighting skills upto the mark, he said.
Significantly, this has come at a time when Pakistani troops are frequently resorting to ceasefire violation along the borders and the state is faced with increased infiltration attempts by terrorists from across the border.
Initially, the range area was spread over to 99, 000 acres, which has gradually got reduced to 8, 000 acres during the last 44 years.
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Brigadier Bhadauria said that earlier they used to do practice firing in respect to all sorts of weapons including tanks. With reduction in its area, the tanks from 16 Corps area in Jammu now go to Rajasthan for practice firing.