Srinagar: Just days after the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Council amended laws to enable the armed forces to notify areas as “strategic” to carry out construction activities, the Revenue Department of J-K has withdrawn the 1971 circular that prescribed the obtaining of a no-objection certificate from the erstwhile state governments.
The order, in possession of The Kashmir Walla, signed by the Dr. Pawan Kotwal, Principal Secretary to the Government, Revenue Department, states that all officers designated as Collectors Land Acquisition under the imposed central land acquisition act and the Competent Authority Land Acquisition (CALA) authorised under the National Highways Act of 1956 would process the acquisitions by the armed forces.
The circular, dated 27 August 1971, which required the armed forces—the Army, the Border Security Forces, and the Central Reserve Paramilitary Force, and others—to seek a No Objection Certificate from the Home Department has been withdrawn after the extension of the central Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 to J-K under the reorganisation act that abrogated the region special status and statehood.
On 18 July, the Administrative Council had empowered the armed forces to overrule civilian authorities over lands notified as strategic areas, the rules for which are yet to be rolled out. The move evoked widespread criticism from Kashmir prompting the J-K administration to issue a clarification attempting to allay the fears.