People told to intensify stir against extending Tosamaidan land lease
Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) on Monday asked people to intensify agitations against “any attempt to further extend the lease of Tosamaidan land to army”.india Updated: Apr 15, 2014 11:25 IST
Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) on Monday asked people to intensify agitations against “any attempt to further extend the lease of Tosamaidan land to army”.
KCSDS members, who were present on the occasion, said: “Tosamaidan has become graveyard for humans and dumping ground for ecologically destructive materials.”
“We have to initiate a scientific study and quantify the losses on account of the impact of military wastes on plants and livestock in this area,”the members said, adding, “We have to stand against the lease extension.”
Tossamaidan meadow - nearly 51 km from Srinagar in central Kashmir’s Budgam district - is under the army control since 1964 on lease.
It was again given to army in 2004 by the then Peoples Democratic Party-Congress government on a 10-year lease, which expires on April 18, 2014.
“The area has regularly been used for firing drills by the Indian Army and Air Force, which has so far killed 63 persons and caused permanent disability to 43,”said Muhamad Maqbool, chairmain Toasmaidan Bacho Front (TBF) on Monday at a roundtable conference organised by KCSDS.
“The firing drills have devastated biodiversity by filling the area with all sorts of military wastes, including unexploded bomb fragments, shells and heaps of waste material generated by military exercise and heavy artillery shelling,”said Maqbool
“Till now this meadow is known for firing range, but can emerge as a new tourist destination,”said Muhamad Akram, a resident of Tosamaidan.
“During election times, we have been promised by politicians that they will bring tourists here, but in reality they are just rubbing salt on our wounds by giving it to army,”said Akram.
“We the people of Tosamaidan are economically, educationally backward because of firing range, our children cannot go school as its too dangerous and noisy,”he said.
Chairman of J&K RTI Sheikh Ghulam Rasool said nearly 40% population was suffering from heart diseases, 20% had lost hearing and many people were completely handicap.
“Massive deforestation, soil erosion landslides and disappearance of fauna and flora are consequences of this army exercise,”said Rasool.