The Jammu and Kashmir administration has marked 25 acre land in Budgam district to establish Kashmir’s first Sainik colony.
A senior J&K government officer said that the colony is being set up to provide housing facilities to retired armed forces personnel from the UT and their families. The colony will also provide residential facilities to widows and families of deceased personnel of the armed forces.
A senior J&K government official said that already three Sainik colonies exist in Jammu division. There were plans to establish a similar facility but opposition from political parties and separatist outfits wouldn’t let it happen. The 25 acre land and its transfer to the authorities will happen after completion of all the bureaucratic processes.
The J&K revenue department had been in talks with the Sainik Welfare Department in Jammu and Kashmir for a couple of months. The process to identify land started in October this year when the district administration of Budgam was asked to coordinate with the Zila Sainik Welfare Office (ZSWO) in Srinagar.
Like the Kendriya Sainik Board at the Centre, the Sainik Welfare Department functions under the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare in the Ministry of Defence and deals with the welfare and resettlement of ex-servicemen of the union territory.
The department implements various schemes for the benefit of ex-servicemen and their dependents, like issuing ex-servicemen identity cards, helping them in settlement of pension cases and provides them assistance in re-employment.
According to a second senior J&K government officer, details of the land including revenue papers, have been forwarded to ZSWO on 3 October after the district administration marked the land on the directions of the J&K government.
On 16 October, the ZSWO told the revenue department that the land was appropriate for the establishment of a Sainik colony.
The senior officer said that the details of the land have been forwarded by the Zila Sainik Welfare Office. Now, the Zila office will request for the official transfer of land to the revenue department. The request will require clearance from the Home Department and the office of the chief secretary.
A central government official said that the establishment of the new facility has been pending for a long time because of all the misreporting on the issues. He said that it has been said that the government wants to bring in troops from outside and settle them here which is not true. The new facility will belong to ex-servicemen who are natives of J&K.