J&K govt gives nod to establish firing range for BSF

J&K govt gives nod to establish firing range for BSF

The proposal was discussed during the FAC meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary B.V. R Subhramanyam on October 15 and subsequent given a clearance. (PTI Photo)

Jammu and Kashmir Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) has given a nod to the proposal of Border Security Force (BSF) to establish a firing range in forests of Jammu with a rider that the paramilitary forces must also get wildlife clearance.

According to official documents BSF has applied for using 135.57 hectares of forestland for establishment of firing range in compartment No 6 old and 8, New Chowadi in Jammu Forest division for establishment of firing range.

The proposal was discussed during the FAC meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary B.V. R Subhramanyam on October 15 and subsequent given a clearance. “The proposal was approved subject to clearance from State Board of Wildlife (SBWL) and National Board of Wildlife (NBWL),” reads the minutes of the FAC meeting.

The BSF has a significant presence in Jammu and Kashmir. The erstwhile PDP- BJP government in J&K during their more than three year tenure had notified four firing ranges for use of Army and paramilitary forces in different parts of the erstwhile state. 

Of them, three were re-notified as forces had lost the rights to use them. In December 2015, the government allowed the army to carry out artillery practice in Garhi area of Rajouri. In March 2017, the government authorized the Army to use 4,80,000 kanals (60,000 acres) situated at Mandalthang, Shayok in Durbuk area in Leh district for five years.

Later that year in May- June, the government also re-notified a firing range spread over 82 kanals in village Bapli Lote of Udhampur. In October 2017, the Home department re-notified Kaleeth field firing range in Jammu province. 

Under the Manoeuvres, Field Firing and Artillery Practice Act, 1938, the Government of J&K is empowered to declare an area for field firing and artillery practice.

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