Chief Minister called for greater synergy between Army and the Civil Administration

Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Tuesday called for greater synergy between Army and the Civil Administration in addressing issues of mutual concern, stressing upon regular meetings to forge a way ahead in finding a common ground.

He said this while chairing Civil-Military Liaison (CML) Conference, here at SKICC today. The last CML Conference was held in November 2013.

Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal Singh, was also present on the occasion.

Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister said the CML Conference has been organized to evolve consensus, particularly on core issues. He said such conferences forge better coordination between the Army and the Civil Administration in the larger interests of the state.

Mufti Sayeed complimented the Army for its role in securing borders and safeguarding the lives of the people. He referred to the Agenda of the Alliance of the PDP-BJP government, an important component of which is resolution of issues regarding vacation/regularization of land and payment of rentals amicably between the Army and the Civil Administration in a time-bound manner.

The Chief Minister observed that there is a perceptible change for the good in the overall situation on the ground, further adding that the logistic requirement of the Army to deal with internal strife has considerably reduced.

On the issue of transfer of state land held by the Army adjoining the campus of Jammu University, the Army agreed in principle to provide the land, north of road adjoining the campus, for expansion of Jammu University precincts. It was decided that a high-level Committee will be constituted to work out the modalities for transfer of the said land.

The Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, was tasked to identify an alternate patch of land for the Army in lieu for the land it was parting from, for expansion of Jammu University within the next three months.

Regarding the issue of expansion of Jammu Airport, the Chief Minister was informed that the impediments had been removed for its much-needed extension. The Divisional Commissioner informed the Chief Minister that the Army is on board to vacate the land in proximity to Jammu Airport, for which sanction of MoD is awaited.

While deliberating upon the issue of vacation of Tattoo Ground, Batmaloo, in the heart of the summer capital, Mufti Sayeed indicated delinking it from all other issues and stressed upon expediting vacation of Tatoo Ground. This, he said, will enable the Government to develop basic facilities at Tatoo Ground in the interest of general public.

The meeting also took a decision to expedite the issue pertaining to land at High Ground, Anantnag, which is held by the Army, for which a timeline of three months has been fixed.

The Chief Minister observed that the land at High Ground is required for expansion of University of Kashmir’s South Campus as well as developing a new housing colony to de-congest the town.

On the issue of land held by the Army at Gulmarg, it was decided that the high-level Committee constituted in the matter will expedite modalities to settle the issue.

The meeting also deliberated upon the issue of vacation of Lower Khurbathong by the Army in Kargil. It was decided that a high-level Committee of Army, Air Force and the Ladakh Hill Development Council, Kargil, will be constituted to hold deliberations with the stakeholders and give final recommendations to the State Government within the shortest possible time.

With a view to de-congesting Kargil town, LAHDC Kargil has planned development of a new housing colony in Lower Khurbathang, which is currently held by the Army.

Regarding the issue of 1,82,865 kanals of land with the Army in Ladakh, it was decided that the Army and the Civil Administration will reconcile figures so that further course of action could be initiated in the matter.

Regarding de-mining of areas along the IB (International Border) and the LoC (Line of Control) in Samba, Jammu and Rajouri districts, the Army was requested to secure areas, in particular those which are adjacent to the farm/fields of the local inhabitants. It was also decided that a joint survey of the cultivable areas, which have been rendered uncultivable, shall be conducted to work out quantum of compensation to be paid to the affected farmers by the MoD.

On construction of various roads in Budgam, Kupwara, Poonch and other districts, it was mutually decided to expedite work so that connectivity to far-flung habitations is provided on priority. These roads include Shunglipora to Sochalpathri and Srinagar Airfield to Gudsathoo in Budgam district, Thajal to Churanda, in Baramulla, Parrah to Amrohi in Kupwara, Sonamarg Bypass in Ganderbal and Kulali to Hill Kaka in Poonch.

The Chief Minister was informed that Army is also examining the 91-kanal land referenced for re-alignment to pave way for providing connectivity between SIDCO Phase I & II of its Industrial Growth Centre.

Keeping in view the significance of Batote-Kishtwar-Sinthan Road, the Chief Minister called upon Border Road Organization (BRO) to maintain the vital stretch for improved connectivity.

The issue of notification and re-notification of field firing ranges were also discussed threadbare in the meeting.

The Conference was also attended by Chief Secretary, B. R. Sharma, Director General of Police, K. Rajendra, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Principal Secretary, Home, R. K. Goyal, Principal Secretary Forest, Rakesh Kumar Gupta, Principal Secretary Power, Sandeep Nayak, Commissioner / Secretary R&B, Rohit Kansal, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Samoon, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Dr. Pawan Kotwal, Commissioner / Secretary, Relief & Rehabilitation, Dheeraj Gupta, Secretary Revenue, Mohammad Afzal Bhat, Director General, Information and PR, Zaffar Ahmad, Secretary Tourism, Farooq Ahmad Shah and Secretary Transport, Kifayat Rizvi.

From the Army side, the Conference was attended by GoC-in-C Northern Command, Lt. Gen D. S. Hooda, Chief of Staff, Northern Command, N. P. S. Hira, GoC 9 Corps, Lt. Gen Rajeev Tiwari, GoC 14 Corps, Lt. Gen. Shravan Kumar Patyal, GoC 16 Corps, Lt. Gen. R. R. Nimbhorkar, GoC 15 Corps, Lt. Gen. S. K. Dua, Major General of Operational Logistics, Headquarters, Northern Command, Maj. Gen. V. K. Yadav, Major General in-Charge Administration, Headquarters, Northern Command, Maj. Gen J. S. Sandhu, Major General, General Staff (Staff Duty & War Establishment), Headquarters, Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Sanjay Verma, Air Officer Commanding, J&K, Upkarjit Singh, GoC, 31 Sub Area, Maj. Gen. A. K. Das, Brigadier Combatant Engineer, Headquarters Northern Command, Brig. G.K Swamy, besides other senior officers.