Maharashtra acquires land in Kashmir for tourist accommodation project: Report

SRINAGAR — Maharashtra is poised to become the first Indian state to acquire land in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir for the construction of a tourist facility catering to its residents.

Reported by The Indian Express, the development entails the establishment of Maharashtra Bhawan in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, marking the valley’s inaugural state Bhavan.

According to the Indian Express report, Maharashtra Bhawan will occupy 2.5 acres of land in Ichgam, near the Srinagar airport, with the Jammu and Kashmir government approving its transfer to Maharashtra for INR 8.16 crore.

The land acquisition process was initiated following Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde’s visit to the union territory last June, where he met Governor Manoj Sinha.

Before Article 370’s abrogation, only Jammu and Kashmir’s permanent residents could purchase land. However, the government could lease lands for up to 99 years to industries and individuals from outside.

In a recent budget speech, Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar disclosed plans for constructing two Maharashtra Bhawans in Srinagar and Ayodhya to enhance tourist and devotee facilities, with INR 77 crore allocated for their construction.