Bharatiya Janata Party has welcomed the decision of the Administrative Council headed by the Lieutenant Governor to approve a special dispensation for regulating construction in “Strategic Areas”, which were needed by the Armed Forces for their direct operational and training requirements.

Accordingly, the Lt Governor gave his nod to the proposal of amending the Control of Building Operations Act, 1988 and the J&K Development Act, 1970 to provide for special dispensation for carrying out construction activities in the 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, said Brig Veteran Anil Gupta, Spokesperson of the party.

“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,” a government press release said. 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, 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, stated BJP Spokesperson. The new provision will enable to overcome such hindrances to ensure that the combat efficiency of our troops is not affected. It is very important at such a critical time when both the LAC and LoC are under threat from the enemies, he asserted. Similarly, if proper habitat is not created the troops are housed in government buildings and schools which causes hardship to the local populace.

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, stated BJP Spokesperson. He took to task the Kashmir centric political parties who went to the extent of terming the provision as an attempt to undermine civil authority and convert the whole region into a “military establishment.” In keeping with their “victim card” and divisive politics these parties have termed it as a “land grab” exercise and also the very familiar cry now of “demographic change.” It’s a pity that these leaders are misleading the people in the matters of national security because they prefer active borders and disturbed law and order instead of peace, he stated.