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J&K BJP welcomes decision to nominate ‘strategic areas’

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Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir unit of the BJP on Sunday welcomed the decision of the administration to approve a special dispensation for regulating construction in “strategic areas”, saying such a step was needed by the armed forces for their direct operational and training requirements.

On Friday, the Administrative Council (AC), which met here under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu, gave its nod to the proposal to amend the Control of Building Operations Act, 1988, and the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act, 1970, to provide for a special dispensation to carry out construction activities in “strategic areas”.

The decision will delegate the armed forces themselves the responsibility of ensuring that construction activities are undertaken as per the existing provisions of the Developmental Control Regulation of the Master Plan and all environmental safeguards are adhered to in the notified “strategic areas”.

“In other words, the red tape would be eliminated to ensure timely completion of the projects keeping their sensitivity and strategic importance in mind,” BJP spokesperson Brig (retd) Anil Gupta said in a statement here.

He said J&K is home to tens of thousands of security forces drawn from the army and paramilitary forces due to ongoing conflict.

“Scores of defence installations are located across the length and breadth of the UT, especially in hilly areas, and a number of clearances are required from different departments before developing infrastructure for mobilisation and stationing.

“In the past, governments have been reluctant to meet the genuine needs of the security forces for habitat as well as training purposes apart from the operational infrastructure. Due to non-availability of field firing ranges and due to reluctance of the government to notify them, the troops stationed here had to go to as far as Rajasthan to fire their weapons,” Gupta said.

He said the new provision would enable them to overcome such hindrances to ensure that the combat efficiency of the troops is not affected.

“It is very important at such a critical time when both the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the Line of Control (LoC) are under threat from the enemies. Similarly, if proper habitat is not created the troops are housed in government buildings and schools which causes hardship to the local populace,” the BJP leader said.

He said fast-tracking of strategic assets is in overall national interest and should not be causing any botheration to the “patriotic citizens of our UT”.

“But there are certain elements for whom political interests are always above the national interests and they can go to any length to promote their petty politics,” Gupta said.


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