Source: News Bharati English20 Mar 2017 11:25:34

Srinagar, March 20: The Home Department of Jammu and Kashmir Government on Sunday allotted 4.8 lakh kanals land to Indian army for Field Firing Range (FFR) at Mangal Thang in Durbuk area, bordering China in Leh district. Notably, this decision of state government will give a major boost to Indian army for firing practices. Now Indian troops and soldiers will not suffer as they will not have to go Madhya Pradesh or Rajasthan for raising their skills and training purposes.
Initially, the Government has allotted the land to the Army at Mangal Thang for a period of five years only but, however, the Army authorities have been assured that the lease period would be extended after every five years.

According to the sources, “Strategically, Mangal Thang has been very significant Field Firing Range for the Army as it was not only located close to the LAC with China but also surrounded by the rugged mountains, which was best suited for the training of Army jawans for raising their skills at par with People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China.”

Prasanna Ramaswamy, Deputy Commissioner, Leh, confirmed the allotment of land to the Army for Field Firing Range at Mangal Thang. He said it was around 4.8 lakh kanals of land and was strategically very significant.

Meanwhile, the Indian army has also decided to seek land for three more Field Firing Ranges-one each in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions on a priority basis. However, fifty years lease period of 10 firing ranges had ended in November 2014 and since then the Army has been pursuing the case of their extension.

Ten firing ranges, whose lease period has expired, included Mahe (Nyoma, Leh) with an area of 67,953,97 hectares, Khurbarteng (Kargil), Tartar (Leh) having an area of 650 hectares and Kulum (Upshi) in Leh with and area of 24,858.5 hectares, all four in Ladakh region falling under 14 Corps, Tosa Maidan (Budgam) with an area of 27016 hectares in Kashmir under 15 Corps, Chorkhud in Poonch, an area of 10625 hectares, Kalith, Akhnoor (15,604 hectares), Rajouri, Jhallas in Poonch (both small arms firing ranges) and Garhi (Nowshera) in Rajouri district, all five in Jammu region, falling under the Command of 16 Corps. The Government had only last year granted land to Army at Nowshera for Firing Range.

In addition to this, the Army has also been asked to vacate 130 kanals land in Leh, 200 kanals at Kalsar, 1710.77 kanals at Tattoo Ground, 297 kanals at Wuzur and 137 kanals at Jammu Airport.