J&K HC bars construction around Kaluchak military station without army nod, halts all ongoing projects

Jammu: Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday said orders have been passed for immediate halt to the construction work taking place in violation of guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Defence in and around the sprawling Kaluchak military station.

The order was passed after the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, hearing a petition filed by the union of India through ADM commandant Kaluchak military station, recently directed the state government to ensure that no further construction in and around the military station takes place in violation of guidelines issued by the ministry of defence till the next date of hearing.

"We have ordered the revenue and other departments concerned to ensure that no construction is raised in the close vicinity of the camp without the 'No Objection Certificate' by the Army," District Development Commissioner, Jammu, Ramesh Kumar told PTI.


File image of Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Image courtesy: jkhighcourt.nic.in

After hearing Senior Panel Counsel Advocate Danish Butt in length, Justice Janak Raj Kotwal issued notice to Home Secretary and others, and directed that subject to objections from other side and till next date of hearing, the order dated 18 May, 2018 with regard to Sunjwan garrison would apply in the case of the Kaluchak Military Station also.

In the earlier order, the high court has directed the government to ensure that no further construction in and around Sunjwan military station takes place, which is violation of guidelines issued by the ministry of defence till next date of hearing.

In May 2002, a suicide attack by terrorists on Kaluchak left over 30 people, including 10 children and eight women, dead and scores of others injured.

The Sunjwan military camp was attacked by a group of four terrorists in February 2018, which left six soldiers and a civilian dead before all the attackers were eliminated.

The latest attack brought the illegal constructions around the camps in the spotlight as different quarters, including security agencies, termed these as a security concern and demanded halt in such works.

During the course of hearing, senior panel counsel advocate Butt, appearing for the ADM Commandant, submitted that vide letter dated 18 May, 2011, the ministry of defence issued guidelines vis-à-vis issuance of No Objection Certificate for construction of buildings in the areas near the vicinity of defence establishments.

In the guidelines, it was laid down that due to security restrictions in respect of defence establishment installations, construction if any to be undertaken by private persons should be at least 100 metres away from the outer wall of such establishment so as to ensure effective surveillance.

It was also laid down that any construction or repair activity within such restricted zone will require prior No Objection Certificate from the local military authority.

These guidelines were revised vide letter dated 21 October, 2016 issued by ministry of defence mentioning that security restrictions in respect of defence establishment/ installations situated at various locations in Jammu and Kashmir, including the Sunjuwan Military Station, Jammu, shall apply up to 100 metres from the outer wall of such establishment/installations to maintain clear line of sight for effective surveillance.

Butt submitted that a lot of construction activity was being carried out by civilians and private respondents in the form of multi-storeyed houses and commercial buildings within the prohibited zone.

"The construction so raised by the civilians/private respondents varies from two metres to 50 metres radius from the outer of wall of military station, Kaluchak", the petitioner said, adding that "as the illegal constructions pose a major security threat to the Kaluchak Military Station, the petitioner as well as the individual units have time and again approached the concerned civil and police authorities with written complaints and requested for taking necessary action for removal/stopping of constructions.

However, nothing has been done”.

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Updated Date: Jul 18, 2018 22:53:54 IST

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