Interlocutors To Find Political Answer To Kashmir: PC30 October 2010
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram today said that interlocutors appointed by the Centre would ascertain the views of all sections of entire Jammu and Kashmir and make a sincere efforts to find a political answer to the Kashmir problem. 'The interlocutors will talk to every section in whole of Jammu and Kashmir while making sincere efforts to find out a political solution to the issue', he said while interacting with the Councillors of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) at Leh this evening. He assured that suggestions and aspirations of the people all over the State will be given due attention. It is pertinent to mention here that the interlocutors didnít visit the Leh but promised that representatives from the area will be either called in New Delhi or Jammu to ascertain their views on the issue. Mr Chidambaram, who arrived at Leh this morning for two-day visit of different parts of the Ladakh and Kashmir valley, assured liberal funding from the Union Government for rebuilding infrastructure damaged due to worst ever cloudbursts and flash floods in Leh district of the Ladakh region and announced that Centre would shortly release Rs 16.50 crore for the reclamation of the agriculture land from the debris. Accompanied by the State Tourism Minister, Nawang Rigzin Jora, newly elected Chief Executive Councillor (CEC) of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh, Rigzin Spalbar and senior officers of the State and Central Governments, the Union Minister assessed the rehabilitation works in the natural calamity hit areas being carried out with the assistance of the Central Government for providing permanent shelters to the affected people well before the onset of winter. He visited Saboo village, which was among the areas worst affected due to cloudbursts and flash floods and inspected the pace of work on the construction of shelters for the rehabilitation of the natural calamity affected people and asked the State administration to get the work completed at the earliest so that before onset of the chilling winter in the district, the affected people could be shifted to the permanent structures from the tents. He also inaugurated a newly constructed 2-room set of a flood victim, which was constructed by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Charu Mathur, CII Head informed Mr Chidambaram that CII will construct a total of 13 houses in Saboo village and 10 at Solar Colony at a cost of Rs 5 lakh each. Mr Chidambaram also visited Solar Colony at Choglamsar, which bore the maximum brunt of the natural calamity, and inspected the ongoing rehabilitation works. In this area, 157 houses under Prime Ministerís National Relief Fund and equal number of pre-fabricated one room sets are coming up for the flood hit people. While interacting with the affected people, he assured all possible assistance from the Union Government for rebuilding of the damaged infrastructure in the district. He said that Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh has already released Rs 125 crore for the relief and based on the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Team, which recently visited the natural calamity affected areas, more assistance would be provided. The people demanded early release of next installment of relief, enhancement of ex-gratia in the wake of the high construction cost and subsidized loan for establishing income-generating units for those people whose shops, taxis and trucks were damaged in the flood. Principal Secretary Finance, Khurshid Ganai, who was also accompanying the Home Minister said that a team from SC-ST, Bankers and Women Development Corporation will soon visit Leh to scrutinize the genuine flood hit persons for providing them loans and subsidized financial assistance to re-establish their income generating units. Earlier, on his arrival at Leh Airport this morning, the Home Minister accompanied by top officers of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Intelligence Bureau, flew to forward area of Askichen on the India-China border in the North East of the Ladakh and had an interaction with the ITBP personnel deployed there. He also visited the Hot Springs in Ladakh region to pay tribute to 10 CRPF jawans, who laid down their lives while repulsing the Chinese incursion in 1959. In the evening, Mr Chidambaram had a meeting with the Chief Executive Councillor (CEC) and Councillors wherein he was apprised about the sector wise devastation caused by the natural calamity. Assuring liberal funding from the Union Government to the district for rebuilding the damaged infrastructure and for protection works at all the vulnerable areas, the Union Home Minister said, 'funds would be no constraints' and assured that Centre would immediately release Rs 16.50 crore for the reclamation of agriculture land from debris in the district. A team of different departments including scientists of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricutural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) -Kashmir has worked out this amount and a high-level committee headed by Chief Secretary, S S Kapur approved the same yesterday. Mr Chidambaram also assured to consider the other demands projected by the CEC Rigzin Spalbar, which include opening of Kailash-Mansarovar route from Ladakh and opening of more areas of the district for tourism, which is the mainstay of the economy. The Union Home Minister will inspect relief and damage restoration works in Kargil and Baramulla tomorrow before having a meeting with the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah at Srinagar. He will leave for Union Capital late in the afternoon.