Srinagar, Jan 5: The Government has declared a huge chunk of land at two famous tourist destinations of Gulmarg and Sonamarg as ‘Strategic Areas’ and it would be used by the Army.
Tourism Department in Jammu and Kashmir declared 1034 Kanals of land at the famous ski resort, Gulmarg and 354 Kanals of land at the famous tourist resort in Sonamarg as ‘Strategic Areas’ at the request of Corp Commander, under the sub-section 3 of Jammu and Kashmir Developmental Act, 1970 for operational and training requirements of Armed Forces.
The National Board for Wildlife had given its approval in 2019 for weaponry projects. Approximately 1.18 hectares of this land comes under Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary. The project which is intended to keep a watch on Line of Control has been a long pending demand of the Army.
The area of land which has been allotted to the Armed Forces consists of many animals including the highly endangered Musk Deer.
Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir Pandurang Kondbarao Pole said it was just nod by Government to allow the use of land to Army for training purposes.
“Basically, there is nothing new in this strategic area for all these lands are already under use of Army for decades, even for more than 30 to 40 years now for training and other relevant things”, Pole said.
“At both the places, trainings of high altitude are conducted for which the Army has already acquired land there and some is requisitioned land”, he said, adding, “no new area is being added.”
”Just for the requirement of trainings, they (Army) may be in need of construction of training halls etc and this was done to enable them to have required infrastructure. It was important and as the nod from administration was given”. There is “nothing new” in it as such, he added.
1388 kanals land given to Army in Gulmarg, Sonamarg