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Sindhis look forward to owning land

The state government after the cabinet meeting announced that they are looking to survey the places occupied by refugees who had come post partition and give them ownership of land.

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Sindhis look forward to owning land
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At least my grandson will be able to see ownership of land, said Bhagwan Ramchandani, an 81-year-old who lives in Sindhi Colony, Sion. Like Ramchandani, the Sindhi community welcomed the state cabinet's decision to give them ownership of the land.

The state government after the cabinet meeting announced that they are looking to survey the places occupied by refugees who had come post partition and give them ownership of land. "This has been a demand for a long time. The contribution of Sindhis to society is immense," said Ramchandani, who came with his parents, brother and sister on January 28, 1948.

Post partition, around 279 houses were given to Sindhis and some Gujarati families who migrated from Pakistan. "We left our house in Kahirpur. My father was in PWD. We got just Rs 3,000 as compensation. Back then, this place was a military barrack and not a camp like other ones in the city. There were around 279 houses of which 90 percent were Sindhis and few Gujaratis who had come from Karachi," said Ramchandani who lives in his row house.

The Sindhi Colony, which is now known as New Sion Co-operative Housing Society, has barely 25 percent Sindhis. Residents at present face lease-rent issue as the biggest one as after 1985, it was not paid. 

"Due to some issue in 1985, the committee did not pay the rent for lease and now they have asked a Rs 54 crore. If the government is thinking if giving the land, we welcome such a move," said Vijay Thariani, chairman of society.

That, however, has not stopped development. Row houses which were just ground floor now have a floor or two more. A number of them are said to be illegal. A number of original refugees have even sold the flats after they became affluent or were in need of bigger space. "They became more affluent and left. Due to that, the colony is more cosmopolitan than Sindhi," said Ram Khatwani who stays and has not moved as his shop too is in the society.

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