Srinagar: A soldiers’ panel headed by Governor NN Vohra has okayed a proposal to establish a residential colony for retired servicemen near Srinagar airport. The project only needs the state government’s clearance to take off.
An official communication marked “1832/colony/Sgr/dsw/2015” and dispatched to the Home department says that the Rajya Sainik Board approved the proposal during its annual meeting this year and sought clearance from the JK government.
“The proposal was vetted during Rajya Sainik Board meeting headed by Governor NN Vohra (President of the Board) in Jammu. Accordingly, the letter was dispatched to the home department for its consent,” a source in the Home department said.
The Jammu and Kashmir Sainik Welfare Department has already identified 173 kanals (21 acres) of land near Srinagar airport for the colony.
The source said the Home department has not decided on the proposal yet “keeping in view the fragile situation in the state”, especially when it calls for settlement of retired soldiers from India.
“I don’t think any decision will be taken in near future,” the source said.
Chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed heads the Home department.
Kashmir Reader has learnt the proposal was mooted three years ago and much of the time went into identifying a secure place for the colony.
That the plan has been in the pipeline for quite some time now has been corroborated by RSS man and BJP parliamentarian Tarun Vijay, who has submitted a proposal to the Narendra Modi-led government, demanding settlement rights for soldiers in the Valley.
Vijay demanded settlement rights for the soldiers who have served a minimum of three years in the Valley. He also requested that the state and New Delhi should give a 25-year tax holiday to such soldiers who “initiate an industry or any enterprise creating wealth for the state and providing employment to the state’s youth”.
India’s defence ministry has forwarded the proposal to the JK government.
Resistance groups and the opposition, National Conference, have rejected the proposal, claiming that such plans are aimed at changing the demography of the state.
According to the Jammu and Kashmir constitution, no person who is not a state subject can own property or settle in the state.