HC directs State to ensure no construction in and around Sunjuwan Military Station

JAMMU, May 22: In a major development, High Court has directed the State authorities to ensure that no further construction takes place in and around Sunjuwan Military Station in violation of guidelines issued by the Ministry of Defence till next date of hearing.
The order was passed by Justice Alok Aradhe in a petition filed by Union of India through ADM Commandant Sunjuwan Military Station.
During the course of hearing, Senior Panel Counsel Advocate Danish Butt appearing for the ADM Commandant submitted that vide letter dated 18-05-2011, the Ministry of Defence issued guidelines pertaining to issuance of No Objection Certificate for construction of buildings in the vicinity of defence establishments.
In the guidelines, it was laid down that due to security restrictions in respect of defence installations,   construction if   any   to   be undertaken by private persons should be at least 100 metres away from the outer wall of such defence 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 21-10-2016 by Ministry of Defence wherein it has been laid down that security restrictions in respect of defence installations situated at various locations in State of J&K including Sunjuwan Military Station shall apply up to 100 metres from the outer wall of such defence installations to maintain clear line of sight for effective surveillance.
The revised circular further laid down that any construction or repair activity shall not be permitted within 50 metres and height restrictions of 03 metres (01 storey) shall be applicable for the distance from 50 metres to 100 metres. It was further laid in the revised guidelines that any construction or repair activity within such restricted zone between 50 to 100 metres will require prior No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the local military authority/ defence establishments.
“A lot of construction activity has been carried out by civilians in form of multi-storeyed houses and commercial buildings within the prohibited zone around the petitioner’s establishment and at places the construction is abutting the outer wall of the Military Station”, the counsel said, adding “the construction so raised by the civilians/ private respondents varies from 02 metres to 50 metres radius from the outer wall of Military Station Sunjuwan”.
“As the illegal constructions pose a major security threat to Sunjuwan Military Station, the petitioner as well as the individual units 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, they have failed to initiate any action in this regard and on the contrary have even gone to the extent of aiding the civilians / private respondents in carrying out the construction in blatant violation of laid down laws as well as MoD Guidelines”, the counsel for ADM Commandant said.
After hearing Senior Panel Counsel Advocate Danish Butt in length, High Court issued notice to Home Secretary and others. “The State respondents including Divisional Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Commissioner JMC, VC JDA, SSP Jammu and all concerned police stations/ police posts shall ensure that no further construction in and around Sujwan Military Station takes place is violation of guidelines issued by the Ministry of Defence till next date of hearing”, High Court directed. Excelsior