Proposed Conversion Of Bajpathri Into Firing Range Flayed

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Srinagar: Opposing the move to establish Army firing range in Bajpathri, the locals from Charar-e-Sharif while staging a protest here said that they will never let it happen. The protesters said the proposal, if materialized, would be threat to the lives of thousands of people and their property.

The residents of Kandimarg, Andarwali, Gadawali and Sangarwani villages, which are only 600 to 700 meters away from the proposed area, were also part of the protest that was held at Press Enclave here.

They said that there are reports that government is willing to lease out this tourist spot to the Army. “It is a scenic, bowl-shaped meadow surrounded by forests in central Kashmir and is located just 4km from Yusmarg, a tourism hotspot. Why is the government hell bent upon ruining our resources?” the protesters told CNS adding that government wants to destroy the environment, forest, water sources and economy of poor villagers.

 “Like Tosamaidan (old army firing range), this area will also become a death trap for the people,” they said.

  The protesters expressed concern about the possible impact of a firing range on six drinking water schemes on the nearby streams Doodhganga and Romshi that supply Pulwama, Shopian, Budgam and parts of Srinagar.

“The move to make this a firing range will wash hazardous chemicals into these streams, which will have long-term consequences on the health of hundreds of thousands of people who rely on drinking water from these schemes,” the protesters said.

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