Govt fails to identify land even over one year after SAC approval

Building residential complexes for police personnel
Huge welfare initiative for cops remains on papers
Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Feb 16: Depriving thousands of cops of the benefit of huge welfare initiative, the Government has failed to identify land for construction of residential complexes for them even over one year after the approval to the proposal by the then State Administrative Council (SAC). The dilly-dallying approach in this regard is notwithstanding the fact that deadline of two years had been fixed for raising of infrastructure.
On November 14, 2018, the State Administrative Council which met under the chairmanship of the then Governor of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir Satya Pal Malik approved in principle a proposal submitted by the Home Department for construction of 20,000 flats to be allotted to the police personnel on a self-financing basis.
It was announced at that time that 10,000 of these flats will be constructed in Kashmir Division and same number in Jammu Division at one or two locations subject to the availability of land in each place.
“These flats which would be in multi-storied apartments will consist of 2 BHK (800 – 1000 square feet), 3 BHK (1200 square feet) and 4 BHK (1500 square feet). The flats would come up in apartment blocks in one or two locations. The apartment complex will be provided with the required facilities such as parks, playgrounds and shopping areas etc”, the Government had stated following the SAC meeting.
“The objective of the decision is to create affordable housing facility for various categories of police personnel along with other amenities. In this way the long pending housing need of the police personnel will be met”, the Government had further mentioned in the official handout.
A time-frame of two years was fixed for construction of flats with the direction to the concerned authorities to provide Government land on a nominal basis for the project.
However, despite lapse of over one year no headway has been made in translating decision of the State Administrative Council into reality, official sources told EXCELSIOR, adding “what to talk of start of construction even suitable land has not been identified at any place so far”.
“Due to this, the Government is unlikely to meet the deadline of two years for raising of the infrastructure fixed by the SAC”, they further said, adding “it seems that after clearance of proposal by the SAC no serious efforts were made either by the Home Department or by the Police Headquarters to give it practical shape otherwise one year was sufficient period for identification of land”.
“The inordinate delay in identification of land is also the testimony of lack of coordination between Government departments as the Home Department had to formally approach the Revenue Department for allotment of land”, sources said, adding “it is a matter of serious concern that on one side huge chunk of Government land is still under encroachment and on the other side a project aimed at providing benefits to thousands of police personnel is hanging in balance for want of suitable land”.
They further said, “even a survey to determine the exact demand of flats, which was to be completed by Police Headquarters by December 2018 has not been conducted till date”, adding “there is resentment among the police personnel who were expecting these flats to come up immediately to meet their housing needs”.
It is pertinent to mention here that SAC had decided that Government will facilitate provision of loan from J&K Bank and other banks, if required for the construction of flats.
The construction of these 20,000 flats will be a huge welfare measure for the police personnel as there are extremely limited housing facilities for the J&K Police personnel at present.