Centre extends PoJK, Chhamb refugees’ relief scheme till 2020

Udhampur gets 7 acres land for KV No. 2

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, July 4: In a significant decision, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today extended Central Assistance Scheme for Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK) and Chhamb refugees worth over Rs 2000 crore till 2020 and approved 7.118 acres of Defence land for construction of Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 2 in Udhampur.
Official sources told the Excelsior that since the Central scheme for payment of relief to about 26,319 PoJK refugees and 10,500 Chhamb migrants in Jammu and Kashmir was taking lot of time due to “unavoidable reasons’’, the Union Cabinet today extended term of the Central Scheme till 2020.
The scheme is being monitored and implemented by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and even payment to the refugee families has been taken by the MHA in its own hands through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
Under Rs 2000 cr worth scheme, which was part of Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP), each PoJK refugee family will be paid Rs 5.5 lakh worth compensation, which had been denied to them since 1947 but was approved by Narendra Modi Government.
As the Scheme was due to expire this year and majority of families were yet to get the relief, the Modi Government in the Cabinet meeting today extended it till 2020 to facilitate payment to all the remaining families.
Apart from PoJK refugees, the Central Scheme has also been extended for Chhamb refugees of 1965 and 1971, sources said.
As per the official figures, 26,319 families of PoJK refugees were identified by the administration for payment of Rs 5.5 lakh relief (per family) after the Union Home Ministry formally approved Rs 2000 crore package. However, only 6200 families have been paid the relief so far even as 17,500 cases have been approved and 11,488 processed for payment.
Sources said the problems have cropped up in certain cases as Aadhaar and related data was not tallying and the Government wants to be fully sure before disbursement of relief to ensure that it was paid to genuine persons only.
Similarly, 10,500 families of Chhamb refugees of 1965 and 1971 had been identified for payment of an equal amount of relief and number of their cases were also pending.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on November 7, 2015 announced Rs 80,068 crore worth package for Jammu and Kashmir named Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) and Rs 2000 crore were reserved for payment of relief to PoJK and Chhamb refugees. However, a formal order of approval of Rs 2000 crore package for PoJK and Chhamb refugees was issued by the Union Home Ministry in October 2016.
Meanwhile, the Union Cabinet has also approved transfer of 7.118 acres of Defence land to Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan for construction of Kendriya Vidyalaya No.2 at Dhar Road in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir.
An official statement said the Union Cabinet has approved transfer of 56 kanals and 19 marlas (7.118) acres) of Defence land on lease for 30 years renewable for two like terms of 30 years each to Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan for construction of Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 2 at Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir at a nominal rate of one rupee per annum.
At present, Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 2 Dhar Road, Udhampur has been functioning in temporary buildings ever since its inception in 1985. Presently, a total of 851 students are studying in Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 2, Dhar Road, Udhampur. Construction of own permanent school building by KVS will enable the school authorities to build optimal infrastructure to meet educational requirements of the children of serving personnel.
The Cabinet meeting chaired by Modi also approved the transfer of 7.5 acres of defence land on lease at nominal rate of Re 1 per annum for construction of a Kendriya Vidyalaya in Jalandhar Cantt.
Transfer of four acres of defence land for construction of a school at Kandhar Lines in Delhi Cantonment was also approved during the meeting.