Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration has decided to notify certain areas in the union territory as “strategic areas”, to facilitate smooth construction for the requirements of armed forces.
The governing body for overlooking construction of facilities for the armed forces is the Cantonment Board, which only had authority over areas falling under cantonments in J&K.
However, the J&K administration has now made amendments to the Control of Building Operations Act, 1988, and the J&K Development Act, 1970, thus giving powers to the Cantonment Board and the armed forces to carry out construction activities beyond the cantonments.
“The Administrative Council which met here under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor, G.C. Murmu, gave its nod to the proposal of amending the Control of Building Operations Act, 1988, and the J&K Development Act, 1970, to provide for special dispensation for carrying out construction activities in Strategic Areas,” a statement issued by the Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) read.
“The amendments proposed by Housing & Urban Development Department will pave way for notifying certain areas as ‘strategic areas’ in terms of the requirement of armed forces and in such areas, the regulation of construction activity shall be through a special dispensation. The move is aimed at simplifying the procedures and shall facilitate time-bound development of infrastructure of strategic importance,” it added.
The approval, according to the J&K government, has been granted keeping in view the strategic importance of certain locations and reconciling their security needs with developmental aspirations.
On the significance of the move, a senior government official said: “These areas will be defined as per the operational needs of the armed forces. So, essentially, the area of operation of the armed forces will be classified as strategic areas. The strategic areas or areas of operation are yet to be defined.”
Housing policy change
The Administrative Council also gave a go-ahead to the proposal of the Housing & Urban Development Department for adoption and notification of the J&K Housing, Affordable Housing, Slum Redevelopment and Rehabilitation and Township Policy, 2020.
The J&K government Friday said the policy envisages seven models of housing, ranging from in-situ slum redevelopment to integrated township, to cater to the need of every section of society.
“The new policy aims at promoting public-private partnerships for affordable housing and slum rehabilitation projects and provides a platform for operation and maintenance of integrated/special townships in a cooperative manner,”
It further proposes minimum relocation of existing slum dwellers so as to maintain sanctity of existing economic and social linkages developed over a period of time in these informal settlements,” said the DIPR in another statement.
“Additionally, the policy also includes provisions for fast track approvals of housing in Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Low Income Group (LIG) categories. Besides, it provides for their incentivisation in the form of exemptions from building permit fee, land use conversion and external development charges,” this statement read.
“The policy also aims to provide rental housing in which EWS families will be given dwelling unit on licence basis for occupation and use for a particular period on making initial deposit and monthly charges,” it added.
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