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Only 15% work on transit accommodation for Kashmiri Pandits complete: House panel

🔴 The Centre had, in 2015, announced construction of 6,000 transit accommodations for Kashmiri Pandit migrants for their return to the Valley. However, the pace of construction has been slow.

Written by Deeptiman Tiwary | New Delhi |
Updated: December 11, 2021 8:09:38 am
The committee, headed by Congress Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma, tabled its report in Parliament on Friday.

A parliamentary standing committee has expressed dissatisfaction at the pace of construction of transit accommodation for Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley, noting that only 15% of the work has been completed till date.

“…in total, around 2,200 Transit Accommodation Units will be available for Kashmir migrants in the near future. However, it is observed that the process of construction of more than 50% units is still at nascent stage. The committee feels that the process of construction of transit accommodation units needs to be expedited and it should be regularly monitored,” the report of the Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has noted, asking the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to fix a time-frame for completion of the project.

The committee, headed by Congress Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma, tabled its report in Parliament on Friday.

The Centre had, in 2015, announced construction of 6,000 transit accommodations for Kashmiri Pandit migrants for their return to the Valley. However, the pace of construction has been slow.

The MHA told the committee that 849 units had been constructed while 176 units were near completion. “Construction of 1,200 units is under execution. Tenders have been floated/ work is going on for 288 Units. Land has been identified/ DPRs have been vetted/ DPRs are under preparation for 3,487 units,” it said.

The committee’s report also expressed concern over the Srinagar International Airport not operating international flights to which MHA said it was so because of commercial viability issues.

“The committee recommends that some sort of facilitation/incentives like granting subsidy in fuel price, etc. could be offered to the airlines to make international operations financially viable for them…,” the report said.

It also flagged the high number of vacancies in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and asked MHA to fill them by resolving administrative issues.“The committee notes that 386 posts are vacant in NIA which is 30.22% of the sanctioned strength. The committee also notes that to fill the vacant posts in NIA, Chief Secretaries of the states have been approached to nominate police personnel with experience of working in ATS/STF. The committee, however, is deeply concerned to note that one of the reasons for existing vacancies in NIA is on account of CAPF personnel not being eligible to apply for posts in NIA due to internal regulation of quota. The committee recommends that bottlenecks may be sorted out and a decision on fixing quota from CAPFs in NIA be taken up at the earliest,” the report said.

The committee expressed dissatisfaction at MHA’s reply on its recommendation to grant 30 days’ casual leave to CAPF personnel on par with the defence forces. CAPF personnel are at present entitled to only 15 days’ leave.

“The committee is not satisfied with the routine reply that the policy will be reviewed as per requirement in future. The committee has already delineated the need to review the number of leaves given to the CAPFs personnel. The committee strongly believes that CAPF personnel below the Officers Rank should be given leaves at par with the Army personnel,” the report said.

The committee was of the view that CAPF meet almost equal operational challenges, hardships and carry equal stress level as the defence forces.

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