JAMMU, Jan 23: The Centre has conveyed approval for construction of 6000 transit accommodations in Kashmir valley for allotment to the Kashmiri migrants to whom State Government jobs have been provided or will be provided.
This was stated in a written reply in the Legislative Assembly today by the Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation in response to a question tabled by BJP MLA from City East Rajesh Gupta.
The written reply said the concerned Deputy Commissioners of Kashmir valley have identified over 723 kanals of land with tentative cost of Rs 374.65 crore for construction of transit accommodation for Kashmiri migrants in the Valley.
About creation of 3000 additional posts for Kashmiri migrant youth with funding from Government of India, the Minister said, “the proposal is under active consideration of the department for submission to the Cabinet”. He added that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has approved creation of 3000 additional posts for Kashmiri migrant youths.
With regard to Jammu migrants, the Minister said that State Government has submitted a comprehensive package amounting to Rs 91.96 crore to the Government of India for the settlement of Jammu migrants in their respective districts, the approval of which is still awaited.
Though a total of 185 temples and other religious places of Kashmiri Pandits are in dilapidated condition in different parts of Kashmir valley yet the Government has not initiated any major step for their protection. Moreover, no decision has so far been taken on demand from the community about passage of Temples and Shrines Bill by the State Legislature, the reply stated.
The Minister informed that there are 542 temples and other religious places of Kashmir Pandits (migrants) in 10 districts of Kashmir valley. The maximum number of temples and other religious places are in Anantnag district (129) followed by Pulwama where there are 94 such places of KPs.
Similarly, there are 30 temples and other religious places of KPs in Kulgam, 8 in Bandipora, 58 in Baramulla, 23 in Budgam, 22 in Shopian, 52 in Kupwara, 90 in Srinagar and 36 in Ganderbal district.
Out of these 542 temples and other religious places, 185 are in dilapidated condition. These include 40 in Anantnag, 17 in Kulgam, one in Bandipora, 26 in Baramulla, 14 in Budgam, 21 in Pulwama, 14 in Shopian, 28 in Kupwara, 19 in Srinagar and 5 in Ganderbal.
However, the reply was silent about steps initiated by the State Government to ensure that there is no further plunder of temples and other religious places of the Kashmiri Pandits. This is notwithstanding the fact that various organizations of KPs have been demanding passage of Hindu Shrines and Temples Bill by the State Legislature.
According to the KPs, land of various shrines in Kashmir valley has been encroached by the anti-social elements. The entire displaced community is concerned over the protection of shrines and temples, which are the symbols of their civilization, culture, traditions and ethos.
They are of the stand that preservation of religious places is must for the posterity as every shrine and temple is in itself worth thousands of institutions. Moreover, they feel that passage of Bill will be biggest ever confidence building measure for their return to the Kashmir valley with a sense of security and dignity.
About the action plan for return and rehabilitation of these migrants, the Minister for Rehabilitation informed the House that Government of India had sanctioned a package of Rs 1618.40 crore in the year 2008-09, which includes Rs 7.5 lakh for construction of house, construction of transit accommodation, 6000 Government jobs and 9000 additional jobs through establishing income generating units, one time grant for revival of agriculture and horticulture land, continuation of relief for two years, scholarship to school going children and waiver of interest.