Central Forces Shifting From Rental To Permanent Spaces In J&K

 File photo of CRPF personnel in Srinagar 

Srinagar- In an attempt to enhance the armed forces infrastructure in Jammu & Kashmir, the Government of India (GOI) has granted an approval for the construction and upgradation of temporary camps for CISF and CRPF in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to a reported by Economic Times, CISF has been sanctioned 2.725 acre of land at Sidhra near Jammu, while CRPF has been allocated 44.77 acre land at seven locations across North, South and Central Kashmir.

While talking to Kashmir Observer, PRO CRPF, Junaid Khan said that the decision was taken a long back by the Ministry of Home Affairs to enhance the infrastructure & security of CRPF deployed in Kashmir valley.

“Undoubtedly, there was a need to build better infrastructure for troops deployed in the region. In recent times, we’ve seen several temporary CRPF camps in Kashmir being targeted by militants. But, with the centre’s decision to acquire land and build a permanent camp for several CRPF battalions, which already reside in the valley on a rental basis, the threats of a militant attack will subsequently subside,” said PRO Khan, adding that it’s always better to have a permanent address over a temporary space.

Hypothetically speaking, he said, if there was any CRPF camp living on the rental basis in Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam or any other district, the centre has allocated a specific area for setting up a permanent address for that battalion in the given district.

The official further said that earlier CRPF used to pay rent for possession of a place allotted to it by the J&K Police on source basis.

“There are certain limitations imposed by the centre on expenditure for developing the infrastructure of any battalion which is living on the rental basis. But now, several CRPF battalions which are living on a rental basis in North, South or Central Kashmir will have their own space without any rental charges. So, these locations have been identified and bought for CRPF to enhance the housekeeping and proper development of resources. After the completion of work, the CRPF will vacate the old rental places and shift to the new permanent address in its place of operations,” the PRO said.

The CISF is responsible for security at airports and vital installations in Jammu and Kashmir and was planning to set up a zonal headquarters in the erstwhile state. Similarly, the CRPF is in charge of counter-insurgency operations along with the Army and the J&K Police. Besides this, CRPF has also been given access to more than 737 properties in J&K by the local administration over the years to station its men and perform its duties, for which it pays rent.

The 737 properties under CRPF’s possession are residences of Kashmiri Pandits, hotels, cinema halls, agricultural land, industrial units, orchards, a school and a hospital as well, according to data shared by the force in March this year.

As per the data, 265 were private buildings, 333 government buildings, 26 industrial units & factories, 30 hotels, 71 agricultural land, 8 orchards, 2 cinema halls, one hospital and one school.

Notably, in October last year, the Administrative Council of Jammu and Kashmir chaired by the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had approved the transfer of state land for various purposes including 65.5 acres of land transferred in favor of the CRPF.

The approval was given to transfer of 524 kanal 11 marla of land in favour of CRPF for setting up battalion camping sites at different eight villages in Anantnag, Shopian and Pulwama districts of south Kashmir.

However, in November same year, the CRPF wrote to the MHA seeking to expedite the transfer of allotting 65.5 acres of land in J&K. Asserting its need of maintaining law & order, the force had also requested for more land.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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