Nearly 40,000 people of the Sindhi community in Pune’s Pimpri camp area will benefit from the government move to grant property ownership rights to Sindhi refugees who migrated from Pakistan after the Partition and settled across the state. The government recently announced they will have to pay a one-time sum, which will be 50 per cent of the Ready Reckoner rates, for claiming the property.
Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse had announced that community members who had occupied land or property between 1947 and 1950 would get the ownership and the government, cash-strapped for funds, would get revenue. The owners will not have to seek approval of the collector for future sale or resale of properties. The RR determines the rate of properties in a particular area on which stamp duty and registration charges are levied and the target set by the revenue department is to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore for the properties spread across the state.
“This is a welcome move as after so many decades the community will now be able to stake claim of the area they have lived for such a long period. In Pune district, the refugees had earlier settled in the Aundh area after which they were re-settled in the Pimpri camp area,” said Harish Bodhani, former chairperson of the Seva Vikas Bank and former corporator in the area.
When the land was allotted to the community in 1947, an agreement was made with the Sindh panchayat federation, under which they allowed the people to settle for a nominal price eventually. “The government’s initiative is good, even as the nominal rates are not considered, the ownership given for this government land is a welcome move for the traders,” said Roop Karnani, managing director of PR company belonging to the community.
In Pune, as per revenue records, only this area is being given to the community. Revenue officials have already taken out the papers for this area to verify the details while officials in the Mantralaya are collating the details from all the areas across the state. A high-power committee too will be constituted for the process of grant of land and suggestions and objections will be sought, said a senior official.
Government records of 1973 show there are 30 settlements of Sindhi refugees in the state. These areas, besides Pune, are in Mumbai, Thane, Dhule, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar, Kolhapur, Amaravati, Akola, Washim, Yavatmal and Nagpur districts.