Government Officials must take proactive steps to facilitate the return of Kashmiri Pandits: LG


It is government’s responsibility to make sure the dream of thousands of Kashmiri migrants returning their homeland turns into reality; all benefits must be extended on priority, says the LG

Srinagar: Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday said that the government officials must take proactive steps to facilitate the return of Kashmiri Pandit community who, after being forced to flee their homes are now settled in various parts of the country.

There are many families living in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and other parts of the country and abroad who are willing to return home or register themselves. Officials of the UT Government must roll out an extensive exercise to reach out to them through proper means of communication, LG said while chairing a meeting to review the functioning of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation & Reconstruction (DMRR&R) Department here at Raj Bhavan.

“First of all, we must ensure that the entire population of Kashmiri Migrants is registered with the J&K Government,’’ he said, adding that “many people yearn for their old lives and would like to return to their homeland’’. “Some families are well settled elsewhere but may want to come here to pay obeisance to their motherland and get registered as Kashmiri migrants. Work on this with utmost sensitivity and sincerity,” observed the Lt Governor.

“It is government’s responsibility to make sure this dream of thousands of people turns into reality with proactive approach of the administration,’’ he told the officials. He also asked the officers to ensure that the benefits of Kashmiri migrants must reach all the communities which are falling under the said category.

Taking stock of the future deliverables of the department, the Lt Governor directed the officials to take effective measures for completion of works within committed timelines. Delays in delivering public services and execution of development works won’t be accepted. Action will be taken against the officials responsible for the holding up of the works, he said.

Setting the agenda straight, the Lt Governor fixed the deadlines for the completion of transit accommodations for Kashmiri Migrant Employees across the valley. While directing for preponing the targeted timeframe for completion of the ongoing construction works, the Lt Governor set November this year as new timeline for completion of Transit Accommodation at Ganderbal.

Directions were also passed for the completion of construction work at Shopian by March, 2022 and at Baramulla & Bandipora by November, 2022. Timelines need to be adhered to for the completion of construction work of transit accommodations. Any official found responsible for delays shall be taken to task, maintained the Lt Governor.

Tenders for the upcoming works must be prepared in consultation with stakeholders for smooth and early execution of works, he said. “We need to double our efforts to ensure that the benefits under various components are being extended to all eligible beneficiaries, especially those who are being left out from the ambit of the welfare measures,’’ he said, adding that at the same, it must be ensured that no in-eligible person shall be entitled to any of the benefits which is the rightful claim of someone else.

He also passed clear cut directions for identifying unauthorized allocation of accommodations and taking strict measures to vacate the same.

While taking detailed assessment of the works done under Civic Action programme, the Lt Governor directed for proper fund utilization for quality output and instructed the concerned Chief Engineer to submit a comprehensive report chart on the work executed so far.

Instructions were passed to the senior officials for taking a periodic review of the progress made under ongoing projects, besides putting dedicated efforts through comprehensive measures to remove bottlenecks, if any.

Earlier, Simrandeep Singh, Secretary to the Government, Department of DMRR&R, gave a detailed briefing on the working of the department and measures initiated in respect to extending Relief to Kashmiri and Jammu Migrants; Implementation of PMDP component of providing 3000 Jobs to Kashmiri Migrants; Constructing 6000 Transit flats for Migrants Employees in Kashmir; providing Financial package to PoJK DPs; Financial package for West Pakistan Refugees; World Bank Funded Project of NDMA for Seismic Risk reduction.

While enquiring about the present status of the 6000 Transit flats for Migrants Employees in Kashmir, the chair was informed that 304 Units are being constructed at Kulgam (208) and Budgam (96), besides accumulative 1200 Transit Accommodations are coming up at Ganderbal, Shopian, Bandipora, Baramulla, Kupwara, and land for other 2744 Units has been identified at 07 locations.

Baseer Ahmed Khan, Advisor to Lt Governor; Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to Lt Governor; Pandurang K Pole, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir; Dr. Raghav Langer, Divisional Commissioner Jammu; concerned Chief Engineers and other senior officers participated in the meeting, in person and through virtual mode.