Pandit Colonies: 7 sites identified for transit accommodations
Authorities in Kashmir have identified seven sites for construction of transit accommodations for displaced Kashmiri Pandits who want to return to the Valley, sources told Greater Kashmir.
Highly placed sources Wednesday revealed that DCs- who had been directed by the Government to identify land for construction of transit accommodation for Kashmiri Pandits who left the Valley in 90s, have proposed seven sites in different parts of Kashmir for the purpose.
The sites, according to sources, have been proposed in all three parts of Kashmir- North, South and Central.
In Central Kashmir district of Srinagar, the district administration has identified over 286.1 kanal land at Shivpora area of the city.
According to sources, six such places have been scouted in South and North Kashmir.
The DCs, in south Kashmir, have identified land at Choudary Gund Shopain (52.04 kanal), Mattan Islamabad (25 kanal) and Hall Pulwama (95.12 Kanal) for the purpose.
The authorities in north Kashmir have proposed KanisporaBaramulla (154.09 kanal), Sarai DangerporaBandipora(68 kanal) and KharmanKupwara (41.16 kanal) for the purpose.
Several DCs, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed to Greater Kashmir that they have identified the land. "We have submitted all details regarding the land to the Government," they said.
As already reported by this newspaper, the State Government on Saturday revealed in the Legislative Assembly that 723.02 kanal land has been identified in Kashmir Valley for construction of transit accommodations for Kashmiri migrants who were recruited or would be recruited under Prime Minister's Development Package (PMDP) for the State.
The Government, however, had said suitability of the identified land was being ascertained by a committee constituted for the purpose.
According to sources, a high-level panel headed by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has been constituted to look into feasibility and suitability of the land identified by DCs.
"The preliminary exercise regarding identification of the land has been carried out by respective DCs. Now the committee would look into whether these sites are suitable for constructing transit accommodations keeping in view different factors including security considerations," they said, but added that "nothing has been finalized yet."
"The land identified at these places is private land," they said.
The State Revenue Minister Syed BashratBukhari had already informed the House that transit accommodations were being built for return of Kashmiri migrants under the Prime Minister's Development Package-2015.
Under the package, the Government of India has proposed construction of 6000 additional Transit accommodation units in the Valley for the migrants, apart from 3000 additional jobs for them.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has repeatedly said over the past few weeks that there wouldn't be exclusive colonies for Kashmiri Pandits but they would be settled in transit accommodations before they decide to move to their original places.
"These will be transit accommodations and not townships where 50 percent of accommodation would be kept for Pandits and the remaining 50 percent for people from other communities," she has said.
The separatist groups, on the other hand, are up in arms against what they say Government's plans to set up Pandit colonies in Kashmir.