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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Opening Kashmir to Indian real estate companies: Omar, Mehbooba fume, say attempt at demographic change

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti on Monday hit out at the administration for opening the contested region to real estate investors, alleging that it is being done to change the demography of the region.

The comments came after the Jammu and Kashmir administration signed 39 MoUs worth Rs 18,300 crore with India’s real investors for the development of housing and commercial projects in the region.

“Once again the true intentions of the government are brought to the fore. While offering to secure the land, jobs, domicile laws & identity of the people of Ladakh, J&K is being put up for sale,” Omar said.

“People of Jammu should beware, ‘investors’ will buy up land in Jammu long before Kashmir,” he wrote on Twitter.

Mehbooba tweeted, “J&K’s special status was illegally revoked to dehumanize, dispossess & disempower the only Muslim majority state in India. GOIs brazen loot & sale of our resources shows that the sole motive is to annihilate our identity & change the demography.”

Terming the signing of the MoUs at J&K Real Estate Summit here “historic”, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said it is a major step towards the transformation of the region.

Addressing a press conference at the summit, he said the government has already implemented the realty law RERA and adopted Model Tenancy Act in UT.

He emphasized that the government will consider reducing stamp duty on registration of properties and set up a single-window system for faster approval of projects.

“We have signed 39 MoUs today. We have received investments proposals of Rs 18,300 crore,” he told reporters here.

The summit was organized by the J&K government, Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, and realtors’ body NAREDCO.

Sinha said these MoUs will help generate direct and indirect employment opportunities in J&K.

He also announced that a similar real estate summit will be held in Srinagar on May 21-22 next year.

Asked about opposition parties’ allegations that land parcels of the local people will be taken away in the name of development, Sinha said this is an “effort to create fear and incite people”. There will be no demographic change, he added.

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