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Ratanpuri demands shifting of Tosmaidan firing range
SRINAGAR, Sep 5: Member Parliament G N Ratanpuri has urged upon the defence minister A K Antony to take cognizance of popular demand and shift the artillery firing range from Tosamaidan to some uninhabited area in Jammu & Kashmir.

Raising the issue in Rajya Sabha today, he said that an artillery firing range was established in Tosamaidan meadows in 1962. “During the last 50 years scores of man, women and children are reported to have been killed or injured or permanently disabled due to accidental explosions of unexploded artillery shells in the area. The population of the villages in the vicinity of the firing range have been demanding the shifting of his firing range to an uninhabited area. There are vast areas of land in J&K with no human habitation and almost negligible plant and animal life. The argument that the firing range can be shifted to any one of such areas sound logical and

absolutely acceptable,” he said.

“Tosamaidan firing range has definitely affected not only the human habitations in the surrounding villages but also the wildlife and eco-system of this scenic meadow. This meadow has the potential of attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists and can transform the area into a developmental hub. This prospect has added to the motivation of the local population who demand that Army should not seek the extension of lease of this area which is about to expire and instead must shift the firing range,” he added.

A “Save Tosamaidan” movement has also been launched by them. While giving all these details in the House, the Member of Parliament urged upon the defence minister to shift the firing range as it involves serious concerns about human and animal life and the fragile environment of the area.

News Updated at : Thursday, September 5, 2013
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