‘Srinagar, Budgam DCs asked to Identify Land for Sainik Colonies’

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

The Jammu and Kashmir government has asked the deputy commissioners of Srinagar and Budgam to identify land for the establishment of “Sainik Colonies” in Kashmir valley.

The proposal, fast-tracked, was brought when the state was under Governor’s rule earlier this year.

The proposed “Sainik Colonies” are scheduled to house troops and their families.

In April 2015, the Rajya Sainik Board (RSB), headed by Governor N N Vohra, approved establishment of a “Sainik Colony” in Srinagar close to the old airport.

In a note to the Home department, the RSB said 173 kanals (21.6 acres) of land had been identified for a Sainik colony and approval had been sought from then Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

Sayeed died on January 7 this year and the state was under Governor’s rule until daughter Ms Mehbooba Mufti took charge on April 4. It was during this spell of Governor’s rule that letters were sent to the Deputy Commissioners of Srinagar and Budgam, asking them to identify land for the Sainik colonies.

“And now, the Ms Mehbooba Mufti government has sent a reminder to the Deputy Commissioners, seeking their response at the earliest,” a report in The Indian Express read on May 06, 2016.

The RSB has been checking on the status of land for the project. On August 31, 2015, the RSB sent a second note to the Home department, seeking more land since “the number of aspirants increased”.

“After obtaining written commitment from the beneficiaries, the number of aspirants increased to 26 officers, 125 JCOs and 900 others, requiring a total of 350 kanals (44 acres) of land,” the RSB wrote. Thereafter, the Home department sent reminders to the officials concerned, asking them to “furnish requisite information” regarding the allotment of land.

“A letter was initially sent only to the Srinagar Deputy Commissioner but later it was also sent to the counterpart in Budgam because,” sources told the newspaper, “land was scarce in Srinagar.”

Incidentally, the demand for “a piece of land or a well-built apartment on a 99-year lease” in the Valley for army men and families of those killed in the “line of duty” there was made by BJP MP Tarun Vijay in Rajya Sabha on May 8, 2015.

Two months later, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the “matter had been forwarded” to the state government since land was a State subject.

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