Govt to review NOC policy on defence land: Jaitley

The government is trying to evolve a "balanced" approach towards security needs and demands for exempting residential colonies near defence land from obtaining no-objection certificates from Defence Ministry for carrying out development work, Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.

New Delhi: The government is trying to evolve a "balanced" approach towards security needs and demands for exempting residential colonies near defence land from obtaining no-objection certificates from Defence Ministry for carrying out development work, Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.

Replying to a calling attention on the issue, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said, "We have sent the matter to the defence headquarters for their views. As soon as we get it, we will immediately start the review ... And adopt a balanced approach."

While there was a need for land by the armed forces to have their facilities and create security corridors around sensitive installations, it was also important to resolve problems faced by many people who have invested their earnings in houses located near defence installations, Jaitley said.
Observing that most members who had raised the issue belonged to Maharashtra, he said after the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, the security and armed forces need to be strengthened and "it is natural that they need more land".

This was needed to enable them carry out excessive patrolling, have land for housing, administrative set up and other facilities.

"It is also not desirable to have people staying near sensitive installations like ammunition depots or radars and missiles are located. There has to be a security corridor between residential areas and such installations, for which too, land is required," Jaitley said, pointing out that high-rise buildings were not allowed near the Rashtrapati Bhavan or other security zones.
The other issue was that a large number of people have invested their hard-earned savings for houses in residential colonies which existed near such defence lands, he said.

"There is a need to have a coordinated approach among these two aspects," he said, adding that similar instances had come up in in the Sukna defence land case or Adarsh scam.

The calling attention motion was moved by BJP members Kirit Somaiya and Gopal Shetty, who said a large number of people having their homes near defence lands were restricted from carrying out any development work or extension of their properties.

Somaiya and Shetty, representing Mumbai Northeast and Mumbai North, also claimed that many such residents were also having to pay high property taxes due to the location of their houses.

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