The Army is contemplating to allow nomads to use the meadows close to the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir and Kargil after the state government requested them to consider the same during the ongoing summer. Minister for Animal Husbandry Abdul Gani Kohli told the media that the Bakerwals have very little area available to take their herd for grazing. He said that Gurez valley, Tulail and Drass are the areas the government is pressing to be opened for grazing again. The Army had earlier closed these areas as they are very near to the border.
Hundreds of tribal Bakerwals and Gujjars take their herds to the meadows in Kashmir and Kargil in the summers and return to Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu in the autumn. “Hundreds of tribal families have suffered on the economic front after they had to sell their animals due to non-availability of grazing fields. This is a serious matter and we have taken this up with the Army,” Kohli said. Meanwhile, the Army is likely to vacate about 500 kanals of land for the expansion of the Kashmir University campus in South Anantnag and the proposal to handover lower plateau in Kargil on the request of the state government. Recently, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had taken up the matter with the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister.