The Jammu and Kashmir government’s two projects to temporarily accommodate non-state subjects and state subject homeless persons, which was initiated by Governor N.N. Vohra during the Central rule in the state, may trigger a fresh controversy for Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
The PDP-BJP coalition government is likely to come under strain on this controversial decision, insiders in the People’s Democratic Party told this newspaper. They said that Mehbooba has taken up the matter with Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, who is also the Urban Development Minister. However, reports said that work was going on and there is no order to stop work on these two projects officially.
According to government officials, Governor Vohra had given a deadline to the state authorities in January to complete the projects in Jammu and Kupwara within three months.
The project is being executed under National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM).
According to officials, these temporary shelter sheds would be given to the locals. However, non-locals can also avail of this facility.
It is in place to mention that the majority of homeless people in the Kashmir valley and even in Jammu region are non-locals, who have developed slums in Srinagar, Jammu and other districts of the state.
Separatists and civil society organisations in the past have already warned the government not to bring non-state subjects to the state as this might lead to a change in demography.
As the project is being executed in Kupwara and Jammu city, CM Mehbooba Mufti is finding it very difficult to justify these settlements amid growing protest from the opposition and the separatists.