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KCC&I voices concern on lease out of 60 kanals of industrial land to security forces

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Srinagar : The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday voiced serious concern over the decision of the Jammu & Kashmir Government on leasing out 60 kanals of industrial land to the security Forces and dropped hints to challenge the government’s decision in the Jammu & Kashmir High Court.

A spokesperson of the KCC&I here on Monday said that the business community of the State was suffering due to the non-availability of land and the KCC&I is on record to have asked the Government, time and again, to retrieve land wasted under the occupation of Government Public Sector Undertakings (PSU’s) to make the same available for industrial and commercial use.

Saying that “it was surprising that instead the Government had recently announced that it was in the process of identification of land for creation of small Satellite Industrial Estates of around 40 kanals, the huge chunks of prime industrial land were being converted into camps and residential quarters for security forces, the KCC&I spokesman said “already more than 300 kanals of land belonging to the Zainakote Industrial Estate was transferred to different wings of the State and Central Security Forces. This land was retrieved from the erstwhile Hindustan Machine Tools (HMT) group in the year 2017”.

Alleging that the decision also ignores the objections raised by City Planners in the just notified Master Plan- 2035 for the Srinagar Metropolitan Region, he refered to portions of Para 7.6 of Page 69 of the Plan read as under:

“As per the existing land use, the defence use is spread over an area of 23.0 Sq km. Including many military and paramilitary establishments. The widespread existence of military and paramilitary establishments across Srinagar has actually surpassed its area under public infrastructure. The statistics reveal that there is more area occupied by defence use than the area used for the development of District, Divisional and State level public and semi-public infrastructure. The indiscriminate dispersal of defence establishments in every nook and corner of the city including the civilian areas is construed as a major impediment in city development. Adopting the guidelines of the Ministry of Defense, the situation will become more grim causing undesirable strain on urban infrastructure”.

He also said that KCC&I would also be considering approaching the Jammu & Kashmir High Court, if needed, in this regard. (KNS)

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