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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Main question of a “sharp jump” in numbers of homeless remains unaddressed : PDP


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Srinagar: A day after J&K government said no outsider is being allotted land under the “land for homeless scheme”, Peoples Democratic Party said the main question of a sharp jump in numbers of homeless ‘people’ from 19047 in 2021 to nearly two lakh ‘households’ remains unaddressed.

The PDP on Thursday sought a detailed clarification on the process of identification of beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY). The party said the main question of a sharp jump in numbers of homeless ‘people’ from 19047 in 2021 to nearly two lakh ‘households’ remains unaddressed.

“The PMAY has been in operation for decades in the state under different titles and a procedure has been in place which always was monitored by the GOI (Government of India) itself from identification to the execution levels. The assistance would be given generally to poorest landholders and in case of people without land there was a process in place to allot them land out of the community lands like Kahcharai, state land, Khalisa etc,” the PDP said in a statement .

“The claim that 2 lac identified households still remain homeless “raises doubts about the sharp increase. Either the exercise is flawed or the intentions are suspect,” it added.

The spokesman said the latest announcement made at the highest level comes close on the heels of allotment of tenements to non local workers in Jammu. “ Does any state in the country reciprocate this for thousands of workers, hawkers, small vendors who move to plains during winters?” the PDP said, adding “it is therefore necessary for the government to come out with a detailed clarification on the process of identification of beneficiaries.”

A controversy erupted on Wednesday when former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti raised serious concerns regarding the “home for homeless” policy announced by the Lt Governor Manoj Sinha administration recently.

Addressing a press conference in Srinagar yesterday, Mufti said that the administration was importing slums and poverty into the region under the pretext of providing housing to homeless individuals, which she believes is an attempt to alter the demographic composition of Jammu & Kashmir.

She also alleged the “land for homeless scheme” was aimed at settling “outsiders”. After Mufti’s allegations, the J & K government said she was “factually incorrect”.

“The statement of Mehbooba Mufti that the government is allotting land to two lakh odd persons is factually incorrect and all statements made by her are without having any understanding of the PMAY scheme and Revenue laws of the J&K which permit allotment of land to landless, for housing purposes. So neither any change in the law has been made nor any outsider is being allotted land,” a government spokesman said.

The Jammu Kashmir government on Monday approved a proposal for allotment of 5 marla land each to landless families for construction of houses under the PMAY.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha termed it a ‘historic decision’ and said it will prove to be a golden chapter in his administration’s effort for social justice, equality, respect, and equal opportunities to all citizens.


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