SRINAGAR: National Conference on Saturday opposed the proposed amendments to the Control of Building Operations Act-1988 and J&K Development Act-1970, saying the changes, if made, will undermine the civil authority and turn the entire J&K region into a military establishment.
In its advisory council meeting held under the chairmanship of Lt Governor GC Murmu earlier this week, the J&K administration had approved amendments to the Building Operations Act and the Development Act to allow notifying any area in J&K as strategic, where the armed forces can carry out unhindered constructions and other related activities that they deem needful.
Expressing dismay over the proposed amendments, NC spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said at a time when voices are being raised against the poor implementation of the cantonment act and construction rules across the country, “we have a headless dispensation in J&K proposing to put more chunks of land under the control of security forces on the pretext of smooth construction for requirements of armed forces ”.
“We have union defense ministry issuing orders every now and then under WODA (Works of Defense Act) of 1903 to impose restrictions upon the use of land in the vicinity of works of defense establishments all over the country. As such, people living around such areas undergo immense trepidation on one account or another due to the conflict between their increasing civilian needs and the security needs of forces, ”he said.
“In the years to come, many civilian chunks could overnight be converted into such proposed strategic areas,” he said.
The proposed amendments, if they come to force, will drastically hit the prospects of tourism as well, he said. “If supposing our tourist destinations are declared as strategic areas, tourism development authorities would lose the power and will inevitably cease to exist. This will put employability of thousands of people drawing sustenance from such tourist spots in peril. ”