Srinagar, Nov 16: The draft land allotment policy for industries in the newly carved out Union Territory of Ladakh has come under sharp criticism from the bodies spearheading agitation for statehood and safeguards for jobs and land.
The draft “Ladakh Industrial Land Allotment Policy”-2023 was put in public domain by the UT administration last month for seeking suggestions/comments.
Both the Leh Apex Body (LAB) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) have termed the proposed policy as an assault on the powers of the elected Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils.
The LAB has said that the policy appears to bypass the powers and responsibilities of the Hill Councils.
“The policy should respect the roles and powers of LAHDCs in land allocation and leasing, as outlined in the relevant legal provisions. Ignoring these provisions directly violates the authority of LAHDC Act-1995, undermine the autonomy of these councils and is against wishes of the local population,” the LAB said.
The Leh Apex Body has pushed for involvement of elected representatives of LAHDCs, Municipalities and Panchayati Raj Institutions to “ensure that the interests and concerns of the people of Ladakh are adequately represented in the decision-making process.”
In their objections, the KDA has said that the policy usurps the land allotment powers of the Hill Councils of the UT. “As on date, the Autonomous Hill Development Councils are the concerned authority to lease the land for public purpose. The new policy is silent on how the powers of the Autonomous Hill Development Councils will be accommodated and what role the Hill Development Council will have in the allotment of land for industrial purposes,” the body said.
The KDA has demanded involvement of the Hill Councils in the land allotment, saying the power of transfer of land lies with them by virtue of laws governing the Councils.
Citing eco-fragility and tribal identity of Ladakh, both the bodies have also pushed for incorporating environmental safeguards in the land allotment policy.
They have also pushed for reservation and priority to inhabitants of Ladakh.