March 2019 News

Corrected Regional Imbalance In Jammu And Kashmir: Centre

31 March 2019
The Economic Times
Dalip Singh

New Delhi: Less than a year after the break-up of the PDP-BJP alliance in Jammu Kashmir, the Centre says it has been able to correct regional imbalance and Mehbooba Mufti regimes alleged discrimination towards the development of Jammu and Ladakh regions. Top government sources told ET that the Centre took a slew of measures to de-hyphenate governance in the two regions from Srinagar, empower people and redress grievances of families living close to Pakistan border. The push also comes ahead of Lok Sabha polls and assembly elections. With infiltration happening from the Jammu region, the Union home ministry has expedited construction of 14,460 bunkers and a deadline has been given to wrap up the work by September-October, said a senior official. About 1,500 bunkers close to the international border (IB) with Pakistan in the Jammu region have already been made. A provision to give compensation to the affected families in case of death or injury to individuals and their cattle, and damage to their houses, was introduced for the first time by the NDA government. Now, Rs 5 lakh in case of loss of a human life and Rs 50,000 per milch cattle is given. Apart from that, compensation for house and crop damage is handed over on a scale similar to a norm identified by National Disaster Response Force. It was implemented after the visit of home minister Rajnath Singh, home secretary Rajiv Gauba, among other officials. To offer employment opportunities to families along the IB and Line of Control in Kashmir, the government has made it mandatory for the state police to engage 2,000 Special Police Officers (SPOs) within 10 km of fence. A quota has been fixed to bring parity in recruitment by the state since, claimed ministry sources, it was observed that jobs were going to residents of just Kashmir. Similarly, 6,000 jobs have been earmarked for Kashmiri migrants, a move aimed at encouraging them to return to their native state, and transit accommodations are also being constructed. The bias, said top government sources, against Ladakh was much more and to harness its geographical richness, the country's largest solar power plant of 7500 megawatt is coming up in Kargil and Hanle. Ten new tourist destinations have been mapped and five new trekking routes have been opened too. From last year, the government is also giving financial package for refugees and displaced persons who have come back including from Pakistan occupied JK (PoJK) and West Pakistan. Of the 36,384 PoJK refugee families settled in the state, 26,000 have got Rs 5.5 lakh each, said top MHA sources. Money is also being distributed among 5,764 refugee families from West Pakistan.