Kashmiri leaders have criticized the move of the government to allocate land to security forces in Gulmarg and Sonamarg for setting up their camps and have sought a review of the decision.
PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti accused the centre of trying to convert J&K into a military garrison.
She said; “allocating thousands of canals to armed forces that too in tourist areas confirms Government of India’s intention to convert J&K into a military garrison. Under the ‘state land’ pretext, our land is up for grabs & to add insult to injury locals are being evicted from their homes”.
CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said that the Jammu and Kashmir government must review its decision to declare about 130 acres of land at the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg and about 45 acres in another popular tourist destination Sonmarg as “strategic areas” for the use of armed forces as these are two most popular tourist destinations in the valley.
There are already a lot of areas with the army for such purposes. Gulmarg and Sonamarg along with Pahalgam are the three most popular tourist destinations in the valley which need to be promoted for tourism purposes.
The need of the hour is to develop tourism infrastructure in Kashmir which can generate employment for burgeoning numbers of unemployed youths. So-called real estate development by the government can’t generate employment or create livelihood opportunities but is only meant for giving benefits to the corporate sector.
We hope that the government will review its decision and focus on developing tourism in Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and other tourist destinations, she added.