Vacation of some portion of land by Army has been long pending demand of valley centric parties particularly by People Democratic Party (PDP). To pressurize the central government, the demand of vacation of Army land has also been included in agenda of alliance of present PDP-BJP coalition government.
In pursuance of their agenda of alliance, the state government has approached Army authorities for vacation of land. In response, the Army has made it clear that handing of Army land in hinterland would be with a rider that it would get alternative land from the state.
Noting that presently, Northern Command of the Army has been asked to vacate 2493.77 Kanal of land in all three regions of the state including Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, out of which presently Army has been asked to vacate 1710.77 kanal of land at Tatto ground, 297 kanals of land at Wuzur and 220 kanal land at Kalsar, all areas falling in Kashmir Valley, 136 kanals of land at Jammu Airport and 130 Kanal land at Leh.
In addition, Army has also been asked to vacate the land at Jammu University, which falls under the Western Command and Kargil plateau for township. Army is stationed on two types of defence land-one is acquired land and other hired land. Acquisition is permanent asset of Army while hired land has to be vacated on completion of its term and condition. The same can be hired again if Army needs it, otherwise it is de-hired.
It is to be mentioned here that after vacation of Kaleeth Field Firing Range in Jammu and Tosa Maidaan in Kashmir, the Army is suffering as it has to send some of its troops outside the state for firing practices, which consumes lot of time and moreover, it is affecting operational preparedness.
In the wake of the fact, it is well known to everybody that Jammu and Kashmir is like sandwiched between two hostile countries i.e. China and Pakistan. Role of Army in defending our border and maintaining law and order situation is crucial and vital. Since independence, Army has made supreme sacrifice in defending the country particularly in J&K state where persons belonging to every corner of the country has shed his blood.
Army cannot perform its duties of security without having land as per their requirement. Pertinently to mention here that after inception of militancy in Kashmir valley during 1989-90, several additional forces were send in the valley to fight militancy and they were stationed at various places in the valley to discharge their duties.
The state government is demanding vacation of some portion of land, which according to them may now not be required by the Army. It is agreed that state government has some compulsions for vacation of the land occupied by Army but it has also to think to give them alternative land so that fight against terrorism is not affected nor tight vigil on the border is lowered down.