PDP grills govt over housing colonies issue, stage



Jammu: Opposition Peoples Democratic Party members on Wednesday grilled the State Government over the issue of building of new housing colonies in the state and staged a walkout from the Legislative Council.

In a supplementary question posed to the Minister for Housing, Raman Bhalla, PDP member Murtaza Ahmad Khan asked the government whether they ensure that residents of Jammu and Kashmir are only provided the residential accommodations build by the state under Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojna (RGAY).

He also sought the reply from the government whether there are any discrepancies in the allotment of accommodations particularly with reference to non-state subjects.

Khan also sought reply whether No Objection Certificates (NOC) are taken from revenue department for verification of their state subject status.

Bhalla, said that all the necessary steps are taken in this regard. However, unsatisfied with the reply, Murtaza insisted upon his question and said it was a serious issue.

Khan posed another question to the minister whether they take revenue department on board while allotting the accommodations to ensure that the beneficiaries are only citizens of the state and no outsider is provided space there.

He further said that the House needs an assurance from the minister in this regard and since the revenue minister was also present in the Council he should respond on whether clearance is being sought from their department before the allotment is made.

Chairman Amrit Malhotra intervened and told Murtaza that where was the question of involving Revenue Minister Aijaz Khan in this, however, Murtaza persisted with his demand.

He was joined by party colleagues - Mohmmad Ashraf Mir and Nizam-ud-Din Khatana - apart from Panthers Party MLC Rafiq Shah, as the members staged a walkout amid noises.

National Conference MLC Devender Singh Rana, who had earlier supported Khan and asked the Minister to ensure that no outsider is being accommodated in these colonies, later alleged that the PDP members were playing to gallery.

Rana said PDP has putting the House on ransom and demanded that the entire conversation be expunged.

Earlier, responding to a question from Congress MLC Bashir Ahmad Magray and NC legislator S Dharambir Singh, Bhalla said that it was not a fact that the J&K Housing Board has not raised any housing colony during last four years in the state.

The minister informed that during 2010 the Board has developed housing colony at Reasi, besides three sectors of housing colony in Kathua have been developed and added that plots on demand have been allotted to the public in sector one, two and four.

To another question that whether the government was contemplating to raise new housing colonies, Bhalla said that they were making efforts to develop planned housing colonies in the entire state and in the first phase district headquarters are being taken in hand.

PTI