Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed said on Tuesday there has been perceptible improvement in overall security situation due to relentless efforts by the army while stressing better liaison between the civil administration and the army.
Chairing the civil-military liaison (CML) conference, that was held after nearly two years, Sayeed called for greater synergy to addressing issues of mutual concern and sought regular meetings to forge a way ahead.
He said the CML conference has been organized to evolve consensus particularly on core issues, noting such conferences forge better coordination between the army and the civil administration in the state’s larger interests.
Complimenting the army for its role in securing borders and safeguarding the lives of the people, Sayeed referred to the agenda of the Alliance of the PDP-BJP government, an important component of which is resolution of issues regarding vacation/regularization of land and payment of rentals amicably in a time-bound manner.
He observed that there is a perceptible change for the good in the overall situation on the ground, further adding that the logistic requirement of the army to deal with internal strife has considerably reduced.
On the issue of transfer of state land held by the army adjoining the campus of Jammu University, the army agreed in principle to provide the land, north of road adjoining the campus, for expansion of varsity precincts.
It was decided that a high-level committee will be constituted to work out the modalities for the transfer.
Jammu’s divisional commissioner was tasked to identify an alternate patch of land for the army in lieu for this, within the next three months.
Regarding the issue of expansion of Jammu airport, the chief minister was informed that the impediments had been removed for its much-needed extension. The divisional commissioner informed him that the army is on board to vacate the land in proximity to the airport, for which sanction of the defence ministry is awaited.
While deliberating upon the issue of vacation of Tattoo Ground in Batmaloo area here, Sayeed indicated delinking it from all other issues and stressed upon expediting the process as this will enable the government to develop basic facilities there for the people.
On the issue of land held by the army at Gulmarg, it was decided that the high-level committee set up will expedite modalities to settle the issue.
The meeting also deliberated upon the issue of vacation of Lower Khurbathong by the army in Kargil, and it was decided that a high-level committee of army, air force and the Ladakh Hill Development Council, Kargil, will be constituted to hold deliberations and give final recommendations as quickly as possible.
With a view to de-congesting Kargil town, LAHDC Kargil has planned development of a new housing colony in Lower Khurbathang.
Regarding de-mining of areas along the IB (International Border) and the LoC (Line of Control) in Samba, Jammu and Rajouri districts, the army was requested to secure areas, in particular those which are adjacent to the farm/fields of the local inhabitants. It was also decided that a joint survey of the cultivable areas, which have been rendered uncultivable, shall be conducted to work out quantum of compensation to be paid to the affected farmers by the defence ministry.
On construction of various roads in Budgam, Kupwara, Poonch and other districts, it was mutually decided to expedite work so that connectivity to far-flung habitations is provided on priority.
The issue of notification and re-notification of field firing ranges was also discussed.
The Conference was attended by all the top civil and military officials including the chief secretary, director general of police, army’s northern command chief and all the three corps commanders.
The last CML conference was held in November 2013.