Srinagar: In central Kashmir’s Budgam district, the administration of Jammu and Kashmir has identified 200 kanals or 25-acre land to set up Kashmir’s first Sainik colony.
A report by The Print quoting a senior official of JK administration saying that the colony is being primarily set up to provide housing facilities to retired armed forces personnel and their families belonging to the JK.
The colony will also cater to ‘widows and families of deceased personnel of the armed forces’.
Tehsildar, Budgam, Nusrat Aziz while speaking to Free Press Kashmir said, “Yes, we received a letter from Sainik Welfare Office to identify around 200 kanals in Budgam district in October this year. The only place we could find that much land was Rakh-e-Arth near Bemina. Nothing has been finalised yet. We have only given our recommendation.”
Rakh-e-Arth is a wetland area in Budgam which due to ecological reasons is not fit for construction.
Back in April 2015, the Rajya Sainik Board (RSB), headed by Governor N N Vohra, had approved establishment of a Sainik colony in Srinagar close to the old airport.
The J&K government was asked to facilitate the process through DCs. Initially only Srinagar DC was contacted, but due to scarcity of land in Srinagar, Budgam DC too was supposed to identify some land. However, this remained inconclusive back then.
According to The Print, the J&K revenue department had been coordinating with the Sainik Welfare Department in Jammu and Kashmir for months now.
The Sainik Welfare Board, headed by an Indian Army Brigadier as its director, was constituted to resettle former personnel of Indian armed forces who belong to J&K state. This board also looks after the requirement of families of deceased personnel.
Three Sainik colonies already exist in Jammu division, but plans to establish a similar housing facility in the Valley didn’t take off earlier due to opposition.
The report quoting officials from Delhi JK said that 25-acre grazing land and its transfer to the relevant authorities will take place after completion of all the bureaucratic processes.
As per the report, on 16 October, the ZSWO sent a communiqué to the revenue department, stating that the land was feasible for the establishment of a Sainik colony.
“The proposed facility will first take care of ex-servicemen who are natives of J&K. They were state subjects and now domiciles,” The Print report quoted an official as saying.