Govt To Create Conditions For KPs’ Return : Singh4 March 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, today reiterated that efforts will be made by his Government to create a conducive atmosphere in Kashmir for the return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants in their homes and hearths in the Valley. Inaugurating the satellite Jagati township 12 kilometres from here today , the Prime Minister expressed the hope that situation will become normal in the Valley and the migrants will return to their native places. He handed over allotment letters to 12 migrant families from various camps on the occasion. While congratulating the State Government for constructing the Jagati township in a time frame, he said out of 4200 flats at Jagati about 2100 flats constructed in first phase are ready for the allotment while the rest 2100 flats to be constructed in second phase will be ready by April this year, he added. The Prime Minister, who was flanked by Governor, N N Vohra and Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah said that decision of constructing two room flats was taken by his Government in 2004 when he first visited Jammu and Kashmir as Prime Minister to ascertain the problems of Kashmiri refugees who were forced to flee from Valley due to turmoil and were putting up in migrant camps at Jammu. 'At that time I passed on directives to the authorities in State and Central Governments regarding construction of two room flats for every family of Kashmiri migrants at Jammu and the township is part of the same plan’’ he added. Dr Singh said it is matter of great delight that today he inaugurated the satellite township at Jagati. Later the text of PM’s speech was also circulated to media persons which said that when Dr Singh had visited Jammu in 2004 he found that displaced people from Kashmir were living in miserable conditions and soon Central Government appointed an Inter-Ministerial team to look into their problems. On the basis of the report of that team, the Government decided to allot the two room tenements to the migrants putting up in single rooms in old camps, he added. He said 1024 flats were completed in 2008 and already in 2007 it was decided that rest flats should be constructed at a single place so that the Kashmiri Pandits could maintain their cultural identity, traditions and where all basic amenities of life will be made available to them. Later the foundation of Jagati township was laid in July 2007, he added. Dr Singh said 2,112 houses in first phase are ready while the 2112 in second phase will be completed by next month. Prime Minister expressed the hope that with the allotment of the flats to the displaced Pandits their problems will be eased. He also showed his pleasure that the process of allotment of flats has begun. The Prime Minster said that being a refugee himself he is fully aware of pain and agony of refugees. While making a reference to the problems being faced by the refugees who came here from West Pakistan and PoK in 1947, he said 'I fully understand their problems and hardships’’. He said these refugees have many more problems to be redressed yet and 'I assure them that Union Government will take all steps to mitigate their sufferings and a beginning will be made in this regard soon’’. Addressing the function, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah said it is a golden day for displaced people from Kashmir that under the PM’s construction programme these flats are being allotted to them by Dr Singh himself. These people had to leave from Valley over 20 years back due to turmoil, he added. The Chief Minster also reiterated his Government’s resolve to create conditions in Kashmir for the return of migrants to the Valley, adding Pandits left the Valley after they lost the sense of security there. Mr Abdullah said that there are certain opinions that the Pandits are not interested in returning to Kashmir 'but I hope that once the conditions will be created and situation fully normalizes in Valley the displaced people will leave castles here to return to their homes and hearths’’. Later Minister of Relief Revenue and Rehabilitation, Raman Bhalla presented a shawl, a memento and a memorandum highlighting the problems of West Pakistan, PoK and Chamb refugees to Prime Minister on the occasion. On the occasion Dr Singh also released a booklet ‘Building of Life step by Step’ published by Relief Organization on the occasion in presence of Mr Bhalla, MoS Revenue and Relief, Nasir Aslam Wani, Revenue Secretary Eijaz Iqbal and Rehabilitation Commissioner, Vinod Koul. Besides the Governor and the Chief Minister, Dr Singh was accompanied by Union Health Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, PCC chief Saif-ud-Din Soz, senior police and civil officers. The authorities had made fool proof security arrangements at Jagati during the visit. Dr Singh who reached the venue of function at 4-15 pm left at 4-32 pm.