Displaced shopkeepers during Operation Bluestar to be rehabilitated after 38 long yrs

Allotment rates slashed for them to Rs14,450/yard

Displaced shopkeepers  during Operation Bluestar to be rehabilitated after 38 long yrs

AIT Chairman Damandeep Singh along with the shopkeepers who were displaced during Operation Bluestar, in Amritsar on Monday. Tribune photo

Manmeet Singh Gill

Tribune News service

Amritsar, November 22

Finally, after a long-drawn battle and 38 years’ wait, the 122 shopkeepers, whose properties were damaged in the Army action during Operation Bluestar, would be allotted shops at Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar, Mall Mandi.

The victory has been made possible by the government’s decision to slash allotment rates from Rs 38,400 per yard to Rs 14,450 per yard.

Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT) Chairman Damandeep Singh said a meeting was held with the displaced shopkeepers on Monday and they have agreed to deposit Rs14,400 per yard. A total of 133 shops along with goods stored in these were damaged in the action.

All along, the shopkeepers had not accepted the offer to get the shops at higher price maintaining that their livelihood was destroyed and they cannot afford to pay the high price.

Apart from shops damaged in 1984, more properties were acquired during the Operation Thunderstorm in 1988 to develop the Galiara project. However, the owners of these properties were rehabilitated and given alternate shops at a reserved price of Rs1,000 per yard.

The representatives of Bluestar Shopkeepers’ Sufferers’ Association and 1984 Bluestar (Tenants) Sufferers’ Association said they wanted the government to reduce the prices, but the long legal battle has already exhausted them.

Parwinder Singh Arora of Bluestar Shopkeepers Sufferers’ Association said: “Over 70 per cent of the shopkeepers, who had suffered, are already dead and the remaining have grown too old.” He said the government officials stated that they cannot reduce the rates below Rs14,450 per yard, as it is the collector rate for registries.

Jaspal Singh, president, 1984 Bluestar (Tenants) Sufferers’ Association said: “The government has now decided to allot 22 sq yard shops to each of them.” He said the shopkeepers belonged to three markets — Bazaar Muniaria, Shaheed Market and Thara Sahib Market — which existed prior to 1984.

The shopkeepers added that the administration for this long had not helped them in any way except for a one-time payment of Rs5,000 even as their livelihood was lost. Long ago, the administration had also planned to allot khokhas made of steel plates in front of Dharam Singh Market, but later the project was also shelved due electricity accidently running through these iron sheets and causing damage. 

Tribune Shorts


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