Home Minister reviews work on Jagti Township

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Home Minister Chidambaram reviews pace of work on Jagti Township
Jammu (India) November 04, 2009

Report & Images by Raman Raina

The Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday assured close monitoring by the central government to ensure guaranteed results in the implementation of PM’s Rehabilitation Package for Kashmiri migrants.

The Home Minister was addressing a gathering of KP migrants after inspecting pace of work on the Jagti Township being developed for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandit migrant families living in various camps.

The Union Minister also held a meeting with the 32 member Apex Advisory Committee constituted by the government to make suggestions for welfare of the migrants and also to cooperate in the implementation of PM’s Rehabilitation Package for the displaced community.
Showing great concern over the difficulties being faced by the displaced community since the migration, Mr Chidambaram said that his endeavour would be on showing results in the entire exercise including their return to Valley, protection and retrieval of their property and job recruitment as provided under the special package.

Giving a brief resume of his meeting with the Apex Advisory Committee Members, he said he has noted down every point raised by the members and the same would be brought to the notice of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. He said both Prime Minister and UPA Chairperson are highly concerned about the effective implementation of the rehabilitation package and he was here to follow their directions.

Seeking the cooperation of members of the Apex Advisory Committee and General Body, Home Minister said that he would remain in their contact through the Revenue Minister of state cabinet and also by holding discussions on regular intervals personally.

Later, interacting with the media, Home Minister said that the concerned officials have assured him that 2160 quarters would be completed by the end of December this year and 2058 more would be completed by the end of May 2010.

Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Mr. Raman Bhalla, Minister of State for Revenue and Tourism, Mr. Nasir Aslam Wani, PCC Chief Jammu and Kashmir Prof Saif-u-din Soz, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Dr. Pawan Kotwal, IGP, Jammu, Mr. Ashok Gupta, Secretary Revenue Mr. Eijaz Iqbal, Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (M) Mr. Vinod Koul accompanied the Union Home Minister during his inspection of Jagti Township.

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Bhalla thanked the Home Minister for taking keen interest in the implementation of package for the KP migrants. He said that it was for the first time since the migration that serious efforts are being made at union and state level to ensure welfare and progress of the displaced community. He said consensus has been reached upon on even crucial matters with members of the Apex Advisory Committee and the cherished objective of implementation of the package in letter and spirit would be realized

Recalling that the flagship project is dream nurtured by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Mr. Bhalla assured the Union Home Minister that the project will be completed in stipulated time frame adding that upcoming colony will not only have all the basic infrastructure but would also take into consideration all aspects and requirements of the migrants.

‘The township shall be first of its kind in the state as earlier neither the government nor any private firm had taken such a mammoth construction at one place’, he said.

He also informed that the government has constructed a road and bridge from Jagti to Nagrota at a cost of Rs. 5.06 crore to ensure the connectivity of the colony to main highway.

Mr. Bhalla further apprised that an amount of Rs. 294 crore has been expended on the construction of protection bund and other allied works around the township. He said that every effort is on to provide the migrant brethren a respectable place to live. He said that the township was envisaged keeping in mind the hardships being faced by the migrants who have been uprooted from their birthplace adding that it becomes the duty of the government to ensure that the community does not face any hardship for want of living space. He said that the selection of Jagti for construction of migrant township was made keeping in view the scenic surroundings so that the Kashmiri Pandits get a feeling of being in a place similar to the one they had left behind in the valley.

Earlier, the Union Home Minister inspected the pace of work on 5242 flats being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs. 345 crore. The team accompanying him went around number of blocks and inquired about the status of work.

The construction of accommodation for the displaced families was started in two phases. In phase-1, 1024 flats at an estimated cost of Rs. 51 crore were constructed at Muthi, Purkhoo and Nagrota.
The central government had sanctioned the Jagti Township project with a view to provide shelter at a single place which would facilitate the government to provide timely facilities and assistance to the migrants and also help the community to maintain and preserve their culture and traditions.

Spread over an area of 716 kanals, Jagti Township has been designed for a population of 25000 souls which would include floating population as well. Out of the total land, about 20 percent is being utilized for raising construction etc., and remaining shall be used for other facilities such as road, drainage, parks etc.

Presently 4218 flats in 176 blocks are under construction with 24 flats in each three storey block.

Against the approved project cost of Rs. 295 crore for Phase-II, the expenditure as on date is Rs. 124 crore. The project is scheduled to be completed by May 2010

Raman Raina is Shehjar's Chief Photo Journalist based in Jammi, India.
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