Jammu and Kashmir moves to identify land in Valley for Sainik colonies

Moving on a proposal fast-tracked when the state was under Governor’s rule earlier this year, the Jammu and Kashmir government has asked officials to identify land in Srinagar and Budgam for Sainik colonies to house troops and their families.

The state government maintains it has received no such direction from the Centre and has “no plans to settle soldiers” in the Valley. But the Sainik colonies project is already being opposed by the Opposition National Conference and separatist organisations.

In April 2015, the Rajya Sainik Board (RSB), headed by Governor N N Vohra, approved establishment of a Sainik colony in Srinagar close to the old airport. In a note to the Home department, the RSB said 173 kanals (21.6 acres) of land had been identified for a Sainik colony and approval had been sought from then Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

Sayeed died on January 7 this year and the state was under Governor’s rule until daughter Mehbooba Mufti took charge on April 4. It was during this spell of Governor’s rule that letters were sent to the Deputy Commissioners of Srinagar and Budgam, asking them to identify land for the Sainik colonies.

Source: The Indian Express. Date: May 6, 2016