New Delhi: In a striking move since the bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, the administration of the now-union territory has withdrawn the 1971 circular, which mandated a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the acquisition of land, for personnel in the Indian Armed Forces like Army, Air Force, Navy, BSF, and CRPF. Also Read - New J-K Lt Guv Manoj Sinha Promises Better Security Arrangement For Grassroots Level Leaders

The Narendra Modi-led central government had, after the revocation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, announced that soon people will be able to buy land in the union territory of J&K. As a result, the 1971 circular, which restricted land acquisition and requisition without a NOC from the Home Department, has now been replaced by the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. Also Read - Separated by Religion, United by Faith: This Pic of Indian Army Soldiers Praying Is Making People Proud

“In view of the extension of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 to the UT, the circular dates 27.08.1971, which prescribed obtaining of No Objection Certificate from the Home Department for acquisition/ requisition of land in favour of Army, BSF/CRPF and similar organisations is hereby withdrawn,” the J&K administration said in a statement. Also Read - J&K Encounter: Army Soldier Martyred in Gunbattle With Militants in Pulwama District

The decision comes days after the J&K administration gave its approval to amend the Control of Building Operations Act, 1988 and the J&K Development Act, 1970, that provides special dispensation to the Armed Forces for carrying out construction activities in “strategic areas”.

The administration has asked District Collectors for land acquisition in their designated areas to process the land acquisition cases, henceforth, strictly in accordance with the provisions of these two Acts.

What is Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013?

The Act, in consultation with institutions of local self-government or administration, accounts for land to be acquired “for strategic purposes relating to naval, military, air force, and armed forces of the Union, including central paramilitary forces or any work vital to national security or defence of India or State police, safety of the people” and states that the Centre is “the appropriate authority for acquisition of land”.

However, after a huge row over the amendment of the Act, the J&K administration has clarified that the move will allow construction in “strategic areas” only, where the Armed forces have “direct operational and training requirements”.