Mehbooba government identifies 723 kanals of land Pandits’ transit accommodations

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SRINAGAR: The PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir has identified 723 kanals of land in Kashmir for setting up 6000 transit accommodations for migrant Kashmiri Pandits, who fled the Valley after eruption of militancy in 1989.

“The Government of India (GoI) has conveyed approval for construction of 6000 transit accommodations in Kashmir for allotment to the migrant Kashmiri Pandits,” Minister Incharge Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and  Reconstruction, Basharat Bukhari, informed Legislative Assembly, which is in session in Jammu, in a written reply.

He said the Deputy Commissioners in Kashmir have identified 723 kanals and 3 marlas of land across the Valley with the tentative cost of Rs 374.65 crores for setting up these transit accomodations.

According to sources, the transit accommodations for migrant Kashmiri Pandits are likely to be set up in South, North and Central Kashmir.

The transit accommodations for Pandits have already been set up in Haal and Mattan areas in South Kashmir and Sheikhpora in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district.

After eruption of militancy in Valley in 1989, the Kashmiri Pandits migrated from the Valley and lived in Jammu and other parts of the country.  The Muslims in Valley blame then State Governor Jagmohan for migration of Pandits in the Valley.

The State government informed that the jobs will be provided to the migrant Pandits returning to the Valley.

Sources said the state government has informed Centre about the process to identify about 6,000 jobs in various government departments for the migrant Pandits.

“Over 1700 out of 3000 jobs sanctioned for Pandits have been provided to migrant Pandits in the Valley,” they said.

According to sources, apart from 3000 jobs for Pandits already sanctioned by the State government, Union Ministry of Home Affairs has conveyed the approval for creation of 3000 more additional posts for migrant Pandits with funding from central government.

“The proposal is under active consideration of the government and may be submitted in the State cabinet meeting to be chaired by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for its approval,” they said.

According to State government, 41462 Kashmiri migrant families and 1054 Jammu migrant families are at present residing in different areas of Jammu province and government is making all necessary efforts for their rehabilitation.

While giving a break-up of 41462 migrant families living in Jammu, it disclosed that of these 37347 families belong to Hindus including Kashmiri Pandits, 2252 are Muslim families and 1758 are Sikh families.

The central government had in 2008-09 sanctioned a package of Rs 1618.40 crores for rehabilitation of the migrants Kashmiri Pandits.

“According to the package, each migrant family was to be provided Rs 7.5 lakhs for constructing house. It also envisaged setting up of transit accommodations for the migrant Pandits in the Valley and one-time grant for revival of agriculture and horticulture land of the migrants. It also favoured continuation of relief and scholarship to school going children of migrant KPs besides waiver of interest,” an official said.

On January 19, J&K Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a resolution for creating a conducive atmosphere for return of Kashmiri Pandits and other migrants to the Valley. Similar resolution was also passed in upper house of the State Legislature.

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