Mehbooba Mufti asks Sitharaman to get lands not needed by army vacated

Srinagar, Nov 12 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday requested Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to get state lands, which are no longer required by the army, vacated.

The Defence Minister arrived here on Sunday afternoon and proceeded directly to south Kashmir’s Pahalgam tourist resort to attend the executive council meeting of Jawahar Institute of Mountaineering and Winter Sports.

Mufti met Sitharaman in Pahalgam and discussed several issues with her, officials said here.

Mufti sought intervention of the Defence Minister for the return of state lands no longer required for operational purposes by the army.

The Chief Minister brought several issues pertaining to defence to the union minister’s notice.

“The Chief Minister also pressed for speeding up of cases of revision and payment of rent in respect of the land owners of Anantnag, whose land is being used by the army. The Defence minister assured the Chief Minister to look into the issue of revision and payment of rent to the land owners of Anantnag,” an official said.

Sitharaman regretted the delay and inconvenience caused all these years to the land owners who had not been paid rent so far, he said.

“She said that it was only during her first meeting with the Chief Minister recently that her attention was drawn towards this issue.

“A delegation of land owners also met the Defence Minister and she assured the delegation that she would try to fast-track their cases of rent payment and revision,”, the official added.

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