J&K Govt Identifies Land For Displaced Kashmiri Pandits

15/05/2016 12:36 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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Fayaz Kabli / Reuters
Kashmiri Hindus, or Pandits, pray during an annual festival at a shrine in Khirbhawani, 30 km (19 miles) east of Srinagar June 11, 2008. Every year thousands of displaced Kashmiri Hindus, known as Pandits in Kashmir, gather at the holy shrine in the restive Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir to pray for peace and their early return home. More than 200,000 Hindus fled their homes when an armed rebellion broke out in the Himalayan region at the end of 1989. REUTERS/Fayaz Kabli (INDIAN ADMINISTERED KASHMIR)

NEW DELHI -- At least three sites have been identified by the Jammu and Kashmir government for setting up colonies for displaced Kashmiri Pandits and it has been conveyed to the Union Home Ministry for assessment.

Official sources said most of the land is being held by private owners and the state government has approached them for outright sale of the land where it plans to construct dwelling units to rehabilitate them.

One of the identified lands 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 railway station.

Two other pieces of land have also been scouted for in central and south Kashmir but are yet to be finalised.

Union Home Ministry officials have advised the Jammu and Kashmir government to finalise the land as early as possible so that construction works of colonies for Kashmiri Pandits could be started.

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 displaced Kashmiri Pandit families under the government's plan to implement rehabilitation scheme for the migrants.

Singh had suggested that the land may be identified near the places from where they migrated and also advised that this should be done in such a manner that there was adequate security in and around the area.

There are about 62,000 registered Kashmiri Pandit families in the country, who migrated from the Valley due to the onset 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 18 November, 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 the 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 necessary action for the implementation of the package at the earliest.

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