CPI(M) opposes land to Army in tourist hubs

Insight Online News

Srinagar, Jan 6 : Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Thursday urged the Jammu and Kashmir government to rethink issuing land in tourist destinations as “strategic areas” for the use of armed forces.

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday issued an order allocating 1,034 kanals of land at the ski resort Gulmarg and 354 kanals at Sonmarg as “strategic areas”.

In a statement, Tarigami urged the government to review its decision, saying Gulmarg and Sonamarg are two most popular tourist destinations in the Kashmir Valley.

“There are already a lot of areas with the Army for such purposes. Gulmarg and Sonamarg along with Pahalgam are three most popular tourist destinations in the Valley which need to be promoted for tourism purposes,” he said.

He said the need of the hour was to develop tourism infrastructure in Kashmir which can generate employment for unemployed youths.

“So-called real estate development by the government can’t generate employment or create livelihood opportunities, but are only meant for giving benefits to the corporate sector,” he said

“We hope the government will review its decision and focus on developing tourism in Gulmarg, Sonamarg and other tourist destinations,” he added.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti said the land allocation to the armed forces that too in tourist areas confirmed that the Centre wanted to convert Jammu and Kashmir into a military garrison.

“Our land is up for grabs and to add insult to injury locals are being evicted from their homes,” she said.


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