Rehabilitation Packages Have Been Granted But Without Much Benefit To The Kashmiri Pandits

PTI |

Hack:

  • Rehabilitation packages have been granted but without much benefit to the Kashmiri Pandits
  • Separate settlements open for experiments or not?
  • Despite rehabilitation packages granted to Kashmiri, hostile attitude from separatists hindering their return?

Consider the efforts that have been made to rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandits in the recent past and contrast that with the tragic fact that this rehabilitation still hasn’t been successfully done. Why shouldn't separate settlements be experimented with, so long as it is ensured that it creates no rift between Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Hindus?

Under the Prime Minister’s relief package in February 2014 nearly 70,000 Kashmiri Pandit families,who migrated from their native places in the wake of militancy since 1989,will now be eligible for Rs 20 lakh each under Prime Minister package for construction or reconstruction of their houses in the Valley,irrespective of as to when they have sold their property there.

Under Prime Minister’s Package 2004, 5242 two-room tenements have been constructed in Jammu at four locations [Purkhoo, Muthi, Nagrota and Jagti] and have been allotted to the migrants, who were living in various one-room tenements, Govt. Buildings, Temples etc. in Jammu. Further, 200 flats have been constructed at Sheikhpora in Budgam district (Kashmir Valley) and have been allotted to the migrants on sharing basis, who have joined the government service under the employment component of Prime Minister’s Package 2008. Out of these 200 flats, 31 flats have also been allotted to the local migrants (who migrated from their native places to other places within the Kashmir Valley). 

The Government announced a Comprehensive Package amounting to Rs. 1618.40 Crore in the year 2008 for return and Rehabilitation of Kashmiri Migrants, which provides for many comprehensive facilities for the migrants e.g. financial assistance for purchase/ construction of houses, repair/ renovation of damaged houses and dilapidated/ unused houses, construction of transit accommodation, Continuations of Cash relief to migrants, students scholarship, Employment, Assistance to the Agriculturists and the Horticulturist and Waiver of interest on unpaid loan etc.

Further, 1474 state government jobs have been provided to the migrant youths and 505 Transit accommodations have been constructed in the Kashmir Valley and allotted to newly appointed migrant employees.

In 2010, there was a series of measures taken by the State Government to facilitate their return but it remained unsuccessful. With the improvement in the situation in the Valley, the government decided to construct 200 flats at an estimated cost of Rs.22.90 crore at Sheikhpora Budgam in 2004.

Bhalla said a special package of Rs. 1,618.40 crore was sanctioned by the Government of India for the return and rehabilitation of the migrants. “Under this scheme, 3,000 supernumerary posts have been created, exclusively for the Kashmiri migrants, willing to return to the Valley. These posts have already been referred to the recruiting agencies and the process for the selection of these posts is on,” he said.

In 1997, the government passed the J&K Migrant Immovable Property (Preservation, Protection, and Restraint on Distress Sales) Act which included provisions wherein the properties of migrants which had been illegally seized could be relieved for resettlement through evacuation. Despite such provisions, Kashmiri Pandits are yet to see their dream of their return to their native homes come true. 

WATCH: Massive Blow For Kashmiri Pandit Community; Rehabilitation Demand Rejected

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