Srinagar, Jan 06: National Conference (NC) on Thursday denounced the allocation of 1034 Kanals of land to the Army under ‘Strategic Areas Act’ in Kashmir’s Gulmarg and 354 Kanals in Sonamarg.
“Our reservations about the ‘strategic areas act’ are evidenced by this reckless land transfer. We had contended that the act will be used arbitrarily to grab civilian, tourist and other mineral resources rich areas. The recent transfer order substantiates our detestation for the act,” Party’s General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar said while taking to media at Nawa e Subah.
Criticizing the measure, Sagar said that the constitutional propriety demanded to halt any such decisions because such decisions are a consequence of August 5,2019 decisions, which are constitutionally suspect and awaiting the due validation from the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court of India.
He argued that by taking such measures, the government was anticipating the verdict of the Supreme Court.
Despite India’s Climate Pledges, Sagar stated, GoI is diverting more forest Land to the Armed Forces.
“Ever since Article 370 was read down and the Union government took charge of the erstwhile states, 250 hectares of ecologically fragile land have been diverted for non-forestry purposes. This stands in stark contrast to the pledge taken by India at the recent COP26 climate summit to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the country’s forest cover,” he added.
He contended that such wanton land transfers will make the tourist heavens Gulmarg and Sonmarg wear a ‘battle zone’ look.
“Continuous movement of army traffic will also have a far reaching impact on the local tourism activities in the shape of curbs. We hope that the government will review such a reckless decision. Putting our land and resources for grabs and sale on one pretext on another is akin to adding insult to our injuries,” he added.