Jammu: The Mehbooba Mufti government has identified 723 kanals of land - which is above 90 acres -- to build 6,000 transit homes for Kashmiri Pandits in the valley. Under a plan to resettle Pandits -- who left Kashmir after violence broke out there in the early 90s -- the families are offered homes and jobs if they are willing to come and work there.
The land - tentatively costing Rs 375 crore -- has been identified under a Central grant of Rs. 1618.4 crore sanctioned in 2008-2009, the Mehbooba Mufti government said yesterday. Besides, the NDA government has earmarked Rs 500 crore for the resettlement of the Kashmir Pandits after coming to power in 2014.
In 2009, around 1,200 families of Kashmiri Pandits were resettled in transit camps with jobs under the Prime Minister's special employment package. But the accommodations, the people say, lack proper infrastructural facilities. The people also say they suffer from social isolation.
Still, some are eager to return to the Valley - like 70-year-old Nath Jee Kaul, whose last wish is to return to the land of fathers, where he says, he was born and spent the best part of his life. His son has been shortlisted for a government job in his village at Ratnipora in Pulwama.
Yesterday, in response to a question in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, the government said arrangements were being made to offer around 15,000 jobs to the Kashmiri Pandits. Besides, the Central grant will be used to build 6,000 transit accommodations, a one-time revival of agricultural and horticultural land and scholarship for school-going children.