Encroachments have posed a serious security threat to defense establishments in and around Rajouri town, with the army claiming to have lodged several complaints against "illegal constructions" before the district authorities.
Highly placed sources to Greater Kashmir revealed that inRajouri district, especially in Rajouri town, illegally constructed structuresaround several vital defense establishments is posing a severe security threat,making the establishments vulnerable to security breaches.
They said, "Thousands of structures have been raised in thepast few years across Rajouri town, with a number of them being constructedillegally on state lands, river banks and in close vicinity to vital defenseestablishments."
While the higher authorities have banned any kind ofconstruction within 50 metres of a defense establishment, a lot of structureshave been raised, they added.
Sources added, "The surprising part is that majority ofthese illegal structures have been duly approved by municipal authorities andtown planning committees, thereby putting these vital establishments ofnational security under grave threat."
Citing an example, sources said, "Around a vitalmulti-utility defense establishment in the middle of Rajouri town, more thantwenty illegal structures have been raised in the past two to three years, withmost of them being multi-storied."
Sources said that as per the advisory issued by the centralgovernment states that any kind of construction within 50 metres of theboundary of defense establishments is strictly banned, while after 50 metres toabout the next 100 metres, only single storey structures can be raised.
Sources added that in the past few years, dozens ofapplications and letters have been moved before the civil authorities by army,requesting to stop the construction works going around their establishments.
On being contacted, deputy commissioner, Mohammad AijazAsad, said, "We will evolve a joint strategy with the defense authoritiesagainst the illegal structures."
He added, "The problem is not a new one. It has creeped overthe years. We are going to do something after consulting the defenseauthorities."
Senior superintendent of police, Rajouri, Yougal Manhasconfirmed that the police department has received a number of complaintsagainst the structures from the army. "However, if an order is issued to banthe construction around defense establishments, it will give a legal mandate topolice to enforce it," he said.