December 2019 News

JK Govt Clears Rs 300 Cr IAF Project At Gulmarg

16 December 2019
Brighter Kashmir

Srinagar: In a major decision by the chief secretary-headed forest advisory committee (FAC), the J&K government has, among over four dozens proposals, effectively ended the roadblocks in the establishment of an air defence system in the eco-sensitive Gulmarg. According to reports, the proposal was first cleared by the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) in its meeting on July 18 with 17 riders. The meeting of NBWL was chaired by Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar. The riders included that the proprietary and legal status of the protected area shall remain unchanged, NPV (Net Present Value) shall be charged in accordance with Supreme Court orders, the user agency shall pay 5 percent of the estimated cost of the project to the J&K Wildlife Protection Department for conservation and preservation of wildlife and habitat. According to minutes of NBWL meeting, it was decided that a wildlife conservation plan should be prepared by the Chief Wildlife Warden and implemented in cooperation with the army authorities to mitigate the impact of the project. The project got go-ahead during meeting of the FAC on October 3 at civil secretariat in Srinagar. The FAC is headed by Chief Secretary B.V.R Subrahmanyam The Forest Advisory Committee is the competent body to approve use of forestland for non- forestry purposes. According to reports, the air force is setting up an air defence and weaponry project on the land in Gulmarg. According to minutes of meeting, the FAC approved diversion of 1.18 hectare of sanctuary land and 12. 35 hectares of forestland for establishment of IAF project at Gulmarg. Estimated at Rs 300 crore, the project is part of the national defence modernization plan aimed to 'enhance air defence capability in the mountainous terrain of northern and eastern part of the country.