NEW DELHI: There are only 808 families of Kashmiri Pandits who still live in the Valley, while close to 60,000 families have moved out, the government informed Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
“As many as 808 families are residing in Kashmir and 59,442 registered migrant families continue to reside outside the Valley,” Minister of State for Home Affairs Jitendra Singh told Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
Singh said 170 temples were damaged in Kashmir after migration of Kashmiri Pandits. “Of the total of 430 temples which existed before migration, 260 of them are intact, 170 were damaged and 90 others renovated,” Singh said in reply to details sought by an MP on Hindu temples in Kashmir.
“In order to mitigate the hardships faced by the Kashmiri migrants, a cash relief of Rs 1,250 per person per month subject to maximum of Rs 5,000 per family per month is being provided to eligible families in Jammu and Delhi,” he said.
The minister also said return of the migrants to the Valley is voluntary and no roadmap is possible.
To facilitate their return, a Rs 1618.40-crore package has been announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2008 which provides for assistance for repair or renovation of damaged houses, transit, accommodation, government jobs and financial assistance for self employment among others, Singh said.