May 2016 News

State Identifies 3 Sites For Displaced Pandit Families

15 May 2016

New Delhi: The J&K Government has identified at least three sites for setting up colonies for the displaced Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley. It has asked the Union Home Ministry to assess and approve the selected land. Official sources said most of the land was held by private owners and the state government had approached them for its sale. One of the identified lands for constructing the dwelling units for Pandits is in north Kashmir's Baramulla district. It is spread over more than 200 kanals at Kanispora Johema on the outskirts of Baramulla and is close to the national highway and the railway station. The two other pieces of land have also been selected in central and south Kashmir but are yet to be finalised. Union Home Ministry officials had advised the J&K Government to finalise the land as early as possible so that construction work on the colonies for Kashmiri Pandits could begin. In September 2014, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had written a letter to the then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for allocation of 'suitable' land for creating dwelling units for the displaced Kashmiri Pandit families under the government's plan to implement the rehabilitation scheme for the migrants. Singh had suggested that the land could be identified near the places from where they migrated and also advised that it should be done in such a manner that there was adequate security in and around the area. There are nearly 62,000 registered Kashmiri Pandit families in the country which migrated from the Valley after the eruption of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir in the early 1990s. About 40,000 registered Kashmiri migrant families are living in Jammu, around 20,000 in Delhi-NCR and about 2,000 families are settled in other parts of the country. On November 18, 2015, the Central government had approved a rehabilitation package with an estimated expenditure of Rs 2,000 crore for providing additional 3,000 state government jobs to Kashmiri migrants and construction of 6,000 transit accommodations in the Valley for the migrants to whom state government jobs have been provided or will be provided. The state government has been requested to take the necessary action for the implementation of the package at the earliest. Representatives of displaced Kashmiri Pandits on Sunday demanded the creation of a single township for their resettlement in the Valley. A resolution passed by them rejected the 'scattered colonies' plan envisaged by the successive governments. It demanded that Pandits should be involved in any decision to resettle them. 'The Joint Forum of Internally Displaced Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu unanimously resolved to impress upon the Central and state governments to formulate a plan for our concentrated rehabilitation in the Kashmir valley at one place. We need to recover from over two decades of trauma of forced exodus from our homeland,' said the resolution.