Manmohan inaugurates 2,112 flats built for them under first phase at Jagti Satellite Township near Jammu

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday expressed the hope that Kashmiri migrants would return home and live a peaceful life.

“I believe peace will return to the Valley and KPs [Kashmiri Pandits] will go back to their homes and live in peace,” Dr. Singh said inaugurating the first phase of the Jagti Satellite Township near here, which comprises 2,112 flats. He handed over allotment orders to 12 beneficiaries — three each selected from the migrant camps at Muthi, Purkhoo, Nagrota and Mishriwala.

The township envisages construction of 4,218 two-room flats under the Prime Minister's Reconstruction Plan. Of these, 2,112 have been completed in full and the rest are expected to be over by March-end. The allotment will start soon and the shifting of the migrant families from the camps is likely to begin in April, according to an official spokesman.

Dr. Singh said he envisioned the project after visiting Jammu in 2004 and taking stock of the difficult living conditions of the migrants in the camps. “It was thought that each migrant family should at least be provided a two-room tenement to live in comfortable conditions.”

“After becoming Prime Minister in 2004 when I visited Jammu for the first time, I was moved by the plight of migrants living in various camps. Today, I feel delighted at inaugurating this township. The second phase would be completed next month. I congratulate the State government on completing the work on time.”

Dr. Singh expressed the hope that the Pandits, who had to live as refugees in their own country, would return in a peaceful atmosphere.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the lack of a sense of security compelled the Pandits to leave the Valley. “When we are able to create peaceful and conducive conditions in the Valley and restore the sense of security in them, they will love to return.”

Governor N.N Vohra, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla, PCC chief Saifuddin Soz, MPs, MLAs and members of migrant families were present.