Mufti raises airport expansion, army land issues with Centre

SRINAGAR: Issues like expansion of Jammu and Kargil airports and time-bound settlement of the status of excess land with the Army were today raised by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed with the Centre.
At a meeting with Defence Secretary G Mohan Kumar here, Sayeed discussed wide-ranging issues related to security situation in the state. General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, Lt General Subrata Saha, was also present at the meeting, an official spokesman said.
During the meeting, Sayeed referred to expansion of Jammu and Kargil Airports required urgently to broaden the scope of airline operations in the two regions, the spokesperson said.
The Chief Minister had earlier discussed the issue with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar during his visit to the summer capital in May wherein he had highlighted the imperative need for extending the runway at the Jammu Airport, he said.
The issue of transfer of Lower Khurbathang Plateau at Kargil for expansion of Kargil Airport was also discussed during the meeting.
The Chief Minister also stressed on the need to expedite vacation of Tattoo Ground in Batamaloo here so that civic facilities are developed in larger public interest, the spokesman said.
Sayeed also suggested setting into motion an institutional mechanism involving state government officials and Army authorities to settle the issue of reconciling the status of excess land presently with the Army in a time-bound manner, he said.
The issue of providing employment to local youth in eco-Territorial Battalions for their contribution in afforestation drives in the state was also discussed in the meeting, he added.
The Defence Secretary assured early positive consideration of various pending issues as well as those highlighted by the Chief Minister, the spokesman added.