Troops still occupy 1036 buildings in J&K: Govt

Troops still occupy 1036 buildings in J&K: Govt

Says ‘CRPF can’t vacate agri college in Wadoora due to current situation’
Srinagar: More than a 1000 government and private buildings are still under the occupation of army and paramilitary forces in the state, the government said on Friday.
Replying to legislator Er Rashid’s question in the assembly, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said that of the 1036 buildings occupied by the forces, four schools, as many colleges and a hostel are “partially under their occupation.”
Mehbooba, as minister in-charge of state’s home department, also ruled out a time frame for the CRPF troopers vacating the Agriculture College at Wadoora in Sopore town of Baramulla district.
“A small portion of SKUAST Wadoora, Sopore is under the occupation security forces (92 battalion CRPF). However, no timeline could be laid down, considering that no alternate accommodation is available in the area and (their) presence is needed in the area in view of prevailing security scenario,” she said.
In February 2014, then chief minister Omar Abdullah had informed the assembly that 1856 buildings were under occupation of the forces after they had vacated 1468 out of 3324 occupied structures.
Giving further details, he had said that out of 2445 private buildings, only 919 were vacated, while 267 out of 547 government buildings till February 2014.
In March 2015, the ruling alliance informed that 1307 private houses, 278 government buildings including educational institutions, 18 industrial units, five cinemas and 27 hotels continue to be occupied by the army and other forces.
In 2014, Omar had also divulged that 66,690 kanals and 10 marals of land was under the unauthorised occupation of the army and paramilitary forces and that no rent had been paid to the land owners against the use of occupied lands.
In January last year, the current government constituted a 3-member high-powered committee to monitor the decisions taken at a Civil-Military Liaison Conference on 29 September 2015, relating to Gulmarg, High Ground Anantnag, Tattoo Ground, Khurbathang-Kargil, Jammu Airport and University Campus Jammu.
In the CML meeting, chaired by former Chief Minister late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, three months’ timeline had been set for the army to vacate High Ground Anantnag. Similarly, three months deadline was set for the army to vacate 139 acres of prime land at Tattoo ground Batamaloo that it has been occupied for decades.
Sayeed had called for “delinking the vacation of land from all other issues” to enable the government to develop basic facilities at the ground in the heart of Srinagar in the interest of general public.
The 29-September meeting had also agreed to direct a high-level Committee, constituted to work out the modalities for transfer of the 175.64 acres of land under the ‘unauthorised’ occupation of army at Gulmarg, in lieu of the land to be exchanged for the Tattoo Ground.
In fact, the decision to constitute the panel was taken at the CML conference chaired by then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in November 2013.
The CML conference had also taken decision regarding vacation of Lower Khurbathong by the Army in Kargil.
Regarding the issue of 182,865 kanals of land with the army in Ladakh, it had decided that the “army and the civil administration will reconcile figures so that further course of action could be initiated in the matter.” All these decisions remained just on paper.

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