July 2018 News

Stop All Construction Near Kaluchak Military Station: Jammu And Kashmir HC

17 July 2018
The Indian Express
Arun Sharma

Jammu: Two months after halting construction activities around Sunjwan Military Station, Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday directed authorities to stop construction of residential and commercial buildings around Kaluchak military station as well for the time-being. The order was issued on a petition filed by Union of India through ADM Commandant, Kaluchak Military Station, who submitted that a number of civilians were raising multi-storey houses and commercial buildings within 2 m to 50 m of the military station. The petition said that as these illegal constructions pose a 'major security threat' to the military station, the petitioner and individual Army units have repeatedly approached civil and police authorities with written complaints. But the authorities have not initiated any action and 'on the contrary, have even gone to the extent of aiding the civilians in carrying out the construction in blatant violation of laid down laws as well as Ministry of Defence guidelines', the petition said. Referring to the Defence Ministry guidelines, Defence Ministry counsel Danish Butt pointed out that while no construction shall be permitted within 50 m from outer wall of the military station, there is a height restriction of 3m (single storey) in the area between 50 m and 100 m. These guidelines have been laid in order to make 'clear line of sight for proper surveillance', he said, adding that any construction or repair within the restricted zone shall be held only after issuance of an NOC by the local military authority. Referring to submissions by the Defence Ministry counsel and the May 18 court order directing, Divisional Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu Municipal Corporation, and Jammu Development Authority not to allow further construction around Sunjwan Military Station in violation of the guidelines till the next hearing, Justice Janak Raj Kotwal issued notice to Home Secretary and others, saying the same order, subject to objections from the other side, shall apply in this case too. In May, the high court had also heard a petition from GOC of 16 Corps against construction of a bungalow by Assembly Speaker Nirmal Singh's wife near Army's ammunition depot in Nagrota.