J&K rejects claims on expansion of ‘strategic areas’

The clarification was issued to tackle the “misinformation being spread on regulating construction in ‘strategic areas’ for armed forces for their operational requirements”

(PTI file photo)
(PTI file photo)
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IANS

The J&K administration, here on Sunday, said there had been no decision to either transfer any new land or declare areas outside cantonments or army land as strategic.

Stating that the transfer, both acquisition or requisitions, continues to be governed by the existing law, the administration said it was "the stated policy of the government to regulate and harmonize the requirement of land by the armed forces to meet the competing demands of development and internal security."

The clarification was issued to tackle the "misinformation being spread on regulating construction in 'strategic areas' for armed forces for their operational requirements."

The administration said it had recently approved a special dispensation for regulating construction in "strategic areas", required the for direct operational and training requirements of the armed forces.

"Some misgivings have been expressed in the media. A few political parties are deliberately misleading people as if land is being transferred to armed forces and entire J&K is being turned into a military establishment," it said.


"All these are baseless comments, being made without reading facts," it said.

The decision simply meant that in the notified "strategic areas" within the existing armed forces land, the responsibility of ensuring construction as per the Developmental Control Regulation of the Master Plan and observing the environmental safeguards had been delegated to the armed forces, the administration said.

Adequate safeguards had been kept to prevent misuse of the provisions. Only an army authority, not below the rank of Corps Commander, could make a request to the government for earmarking such area as strategic only for direct operational and training needs of the armed forces, it said.

"The special dispensation neither gives any powers to the armed forces to acquire more land in J&K, nor does it allow them any unbridled powers, without observing environment safeguards and the Developmental Control Regulations of the Master Plan. It only facilitates fast-tracking of construction of strategic assets, while observing all norms," the administration said.


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