On army's behest, Govt can declare local area as 'strategic'

Under new land laws notified by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the government can declare a local area as “strategic”, after a written request from the army.

Under the newly introduced J&K Development Act strategic areas means an area notified as strategic under Sub-Section (3) of Section 3 of the Act.

“Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the government may on the written request of an army officer not below the rank of Corp

Commander, declare an area as Strategic Area within a local area, only for direct operational and training requirements of armed forces, which may be excluded from the operation of this Act and rules/regulations made there under in the manner and to the extent specified in the declaration,” it says. “The government may satisfy itself about the reasons cited for declaring the area as strategic area and will have such area notified accordingly with such conditions as may be required.”

Earlier this year, J&K administration had issued a clarification on its decision to notify certain places in the Union territory as strategic areas, to facilitate construction by the armed forces.

The clarification came after National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peoples Conference lashed out at the administration over the move.

The J&K administration had made amendments to the Control of Building Operations Act-1988, and the J&K Development Act- 1970, thus giving powers to the Cantonment Board and the armed forces to carry out construction activities beyond the cantonments.