scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Wednesday, January 19, 2022

1.3k kanal Valley land declared strategic area; up for Army ops use

🔴 A government notification points to a request by the Corps Commander to utilise this land for “operational and training requirements” of the armed forces.

By: Express News Service | Srinagar |
Updated: January 7, 2022 6:57:34 am
In July 2020, the administration had withdrawn a 1971 circular that required a no-objection certificate (NOC) from J&K home department for acquisition or requisition of land in favour of the Army, BSF, CRPF and “other similar organisations”.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has provided its sanction to declare over a thousand kanals of land in Gulmarg and 354 kanals in Sonamarg areas of the Valley as “strategic areas”.

A government notification points to a request by the Corps Commander to utilise this land for “operational and training requirements” of the armed forces.

In July 2020, the administration had withdrawn a 1971 circular that required a no-objection certificate (NOC) from J&K home department for acquisition or requisition of land in favour of the Army, BSF, CRPF and “other similar organisations”. Such acquisition has since been covered under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

Explained

How strategic area is to be declared

While defining “strategic areas” in J&K, Section 3 of the law states that the government may “on written request of an Army officer not below the rank of Corp Commander declare an area as Strategic Area within a local area, only for direct operational and training requirements of armed forces”.

In the same month, the administration had also given its approval to an amendment to Control of Building Operations Act, 1988, and J&K Development Act, 1970, providing for special dispensation for carrying out construction activities in “strategic areas” by armed forces. This is the first such order issued since the amendment came into force.

The order granting land in Gulmarg and Sonamarg to the armed forces places the condition that “the corp commanders shall ensure strict adherence to environment-related laws to prevent any environmental hazard”. Additionally, the forces must ensure that “no other applicable law in force in the Union Territory of J&K is observed in breach”.

Former J&K chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said that the move to allocate thousands of kanals to the armed forces, that too in tourist areas, “confirms GOI’s intention to convert J&K into a military garrison. Under the ‘state land’ pretext, our land is up for grabs & to add insult to injury locals are being evicted from their homes.”

CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami also called for a review, and said there are already many areas with the Army for such purposes. “Gulmarg and Sonamarg, along with Pahalgam, are three most popular tourist destinations in the Valley which need to be promoted for tourism purposes,” he said.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Srinagar News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement