M A I N   N E W S

Army, improvement trust lock horns over security wall
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Pathankot, October 24
The proposal of the Army to construct a security wall around its animal farm here is being jeopardised due to the alleged vested interests in the Pathankot improvement trust.

The army animal farm that also serves the purpose of a store is located near the Pathankot bus stand. Its outer wall is in a dilapidated state. Due to security reasons, the army authorities here proposed to build the security wall around the animal farm.

However, the proposal could not be realised due to some alleged vested interests in the local improvement trust.

Sources said the improvement trust authorities want to construct a market on the land on which the Army proposes to built the wall. The Army authorities have, however, contested the claim of the improvement trust authorities.

Talking to The Tribune on the condition of anonymity, the Army authorities said that according to revenue records, the land on which the improvement trust authorities want to construct the market belongs to the Army. Moreover, constructing a market right near an army installation is a threat to the security of the area.

The Army authorities alleged that the improvement trust authorities were encouraging encroachers to retain their control over the Army land so that later the temporary encroachments could be converted into pucca shops.

The sources said that the controversy started when the improvement trust authorities earlier allotted a small portion of the Army land on which the security wall was to be constructed to a shopkeeper. Later the Army authorities declared that allotment to be illegal. However, the affected shopkeeper moved court, as he was allotted the land by the improvement trust.

Presently, many vendors have raised their temporary structures near the outer wall of the animal farm. Besides, auto-drivers have converted a portion of the land for illegal use. The Executive Officer of the Pathankot Improvement Trust said that the land on which the Army proposes to construct the security wall had been lying vacant for long.

Many vendors and auto-drivers have retained their hold over it. Now it was up to the revenue authorities to decide the ownership of the disputed land. The Army cannot be allowed to construct the security wall till the revenue authorities decide the matter of ownership of the disputed land.

The Army authorities have alleged that they have persuaded the auto-drivers for the construction of the wall. However, it was the improvement trust authorities who were jeopardizing their move.


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