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Rediff.com  » News » PM hands over houses to Kashmiri Pandits

PM hands over houses to Kashmiri Pandits

March 04, 2011 23:02 IST

The township for the Kashmiri Pandit migrants at Jagti on the outskirts of Jammu was inaugurated by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh when he handed over allotment papers to a group of 12 selected families.

The satellite township envisages construction of 4,218 two-room flats under the Prime Ministers Reconstruction Programme. Of these, 2112 have been completed in full and the rest are expected to be completed by the end of this month.

The allotment of the flats will start soon and the shifting of migrant families from the camps is likely to begin in April.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Singh said that he had envisioned this project after visiting Jammu in 2004 and taking stock of the difficult living conditions of Kashmiri migrants in the camps. "It was thought that each Kashmiri migrant family should at least be provided 2-room tenement to live in comfortable conditions", he said adding that the project was planned accordingly.

Singh expressed the hope that 'the situation in Valley would become normal and Kashmiri Pandits who had to live as refugees in their own country would return back in peaceful atmosphere and live in tranquillity and peace.'

In his opening remarks, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that 'the lack of sense of security compelled Kashmiri Pandits to leave the Valley. "When we are able to create peaceful and conducive conditions in the Valley and restore the sense of security in them, they will love to return even if they might be living in palatial houses.'

"Till that time government wants them to live comfortably in the satellite township at Jagti", he said and thanked the prime minister for handing over the allotment orders to some of the beneficiaries symbolically at Friday's function.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar