PRC linked Smart Cards in offing
Omar launches 'Aadhaar' initiative

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Aug 1 : Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on Monday said that Government intends to provide Smart Cards to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir to be linked to the Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC) primarily and ration cards, MGNREGA job cards, SKEWPY registration cards, etc secondarily to make the public service delivery hassle free. .....more

Governor, CM greet people on Ramzan

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Aug 1: Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today greeted the people on the commencement of the holy month of Ramzan and hoped that this auspicious occasion would be a harbinger of peace, ...more

Inaugural ceremony of 13-day long Buda Amarnath yatra held

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: The 13 day long Buda Amarnath yatra was inaugurated at Yatri Niwas Bhagwati Nagar here today. The yatra, which will start from here tomorrow will culminate on Sawan Purnima full Moon coinciding with Raksha Bandhan festival ...more

SRTC employees, VRS workers stage protest

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: The State Road Transport Corporation employees and the VRS accorded workers of the Corporation staged protest demonstration and took.....more

Mehbooba playing politics over Sopore incident: Shariq

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Aug 1: Senior National Conference leader and MP Sharief-ud-Din Shariq today accused People's Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti of playing politics over the alleged custodial killing of Nazim Rashid at Sopore....more

Deptt of Posts dedicates modernized Sub Post Office Janipur to public

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: In continuation with the modernization programme of Post Offices all over the country by Department of Posts under Project Arrow, the Sub Post Office, Janipur, today also joined such other post offices of the country which enjoy the facilities of latest technology and modernization. .....more

NPSU relay hunger strike enters 8th day
Students hold protest against delay in appointment of CU VC

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: The various students organisations held massive protest demonstration in favour of Jammu Central University at various Colleges today whereas the indefinite "Relay Hunger Strike" of National Panthers Students Union (NPSU) today entered 8th day at Shaheedi Sthal, GGM Science....more

Retd Officers flay PDD for frequent power cuts

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: Retired Officers Forum today expressed concern over frequent power cuts in the fully metered areas where the Power Development Department is not supplying the regular power.A meeting was held under the chairmanship of its president JK Sharma and while speaking he said that PDD has totally failed to check out the power theft in rural as well as in urban areas,....more

     
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Yatra touches 6,15,000 mark in 34 days...

Airtel launches LiveWell Ramzan pack....

Omar approves 4-laning of Boulevard, Galender-Narbal by pass...

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Aug 1: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on Monday approved Rs. 60 crore 4-lanning project for widening of Boulevard road, Srinagar from Dalgate to Kralsangari in the first phase. He also gave nod to a mega project of constructing 6-lane National Highway by-pass from Galender to Narbal via Yechgam, Budgam which will be extended to Ganderbal in the final phase.The Chief Minister sanctioned these projects at a high level meeting wherein he received the presentation about the details and financial implications of these two important projects.

Governor inaugurates photo exhibition...

Rs 86.76 cr annual plan for Kathua district...

Excelsior Correspondent

KATHUA, Aug 1: District Development Board, Kathua which met here today under the chairmanship of Minister for Tourism and Culture, Nawang Rigzin Jora approved Rs. 8676.92 lakh district plan for the current financial year. The plan includes Rs. 5301.02 lakh as capital component and Rs. 3375.90 revenue component. Out of the capital component Rs. 2439.52 lakh is the loan component. Vice Chairman District Development Board Kathua, Minister of State for Forest, Transport, Employment, CAPD and Power, Shabir Ahmed Khan, Minister of State (Independent Charge Cooperative Stationary and Printing and Elections, MoS planning, Finance, Information Technology, Science and Technology, Industries and Commerce and Higher Education, Dr. Manohar Lal Sharma, Vice Chairman J&K State Advisory Board for Development of Kissan, Mr. Rashpal Singh, Vice Chairperson J&K State Board for Welfare and Development of SC, Swaran Lata, Member Parliament, Doda - Udhampur parliamentary constituency, Lal Singh, MLA Kathua, Charanjit Singh, MLA, Basohli, Jagdish Sapolia, MLA, Bani, Lal Chand, MLA Hiranagar, Durga Dass, MLC, Subash Gupta and heads of various departments and district officers were present on the occasion.

One killed, another injured in bears attack...

SIE conducts training programmes...

BWA for sub categorization of SC categories...

Ex-servicemen rally held...

6.5 lakh saplings to be planted during monsoon: Altaf...

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU Aug 1: Minister for Ecology, Environment and Forests, Mian Altaf Ahmed today attended the 62nd Van-Mahoutsav organized by Social Forestry Department in the premises of Govt. Polytechnic College Jammu. Commissioner Secretary to Government Forest Department, Shantmanu presided over the function while Chief Conservator of Forest R.D Tiwari was guest of honour.Director Social Forestry Department M.S Khan in his keynote and welcome address deliberated upon the importance of Van -Mahoustava and elaborated on various activities and achievements of Social Forestry Department.

Abolish discretionary quota of Ministers : BJP...

CVPA demands Hill Development Council, Pahari status...

Complete first storey of LD Hospital in 5 months: Chib...

DLL begins five day workshop on "Radio Broadcasting Skills"...

DDC inaugurates Maruti Service Station...

Excelsior Correspondent

POONCH, Aug 1: In order to facilitate the people of the border region, District Development Commissioner Poonch, Ajit Kumar Sahu, today inaugurated AS Automobiles, Maruti Authorized Service Station (MASS), in the border district at Surankote in the presence of GA Khawaja, District Development Commissioner, Rajouri.Addressing the gathering, AK Sahu appreciated the efforts being taken up by Sheikh Ajaz Ahmed, Managing Director, AS Automobiles, for establishing viable business unit in the district by availing self employment scheme which paved the way for other unemployed youth of the district. He urged the youth of the district to resort to self employment instead of searching job in present scenario of global recession.

Youth crushed to death, seven hurt in mishaps...

Re-organisation of J&K only solution: NPP...

Severe power crisis again grips Jammu...

YAIKS demands implementation of PM’s package in toto...

 

PRC linked Smart Cards in offing
Omar launches 'Aadhaar' initiative

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Aug 1 : Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on Monday said that Government intends to provide Smart Cards to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir to be linked to the Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC) primarily and ration cards, MGNREGA job cards, SKEWPY registration cards, etc secondarily to make the public service delivery hassle free.

"The ultimate linkage of Smart Cards with the Unique Identification Number 'Aadhaar' would undoubtedly ensure timely benefits to the people", he added and said that it would streamline the services and improve the governance.

Rolling out Unique Identification 'Aadhaar' initiative in Jammu and Kashmir at a function at SKICC here, the Chief Minister cautioned the people about the misgivings likely to be created by vested interests regarding Aadhaar. He said that the card is a simple identification number not mandatory or compulsory for the citizens to utilize. "It is an optional facility for valid proof of identification available to the people for obtaining various services promptly," he added.

"You have many cards like passport, driving license, State subject, voter cards, etc and it is up to your own choice to utilize any one of these for identification and residential proofs", he said, adding that Aadhaar is a similar facility available to you to take its full advantage. He said presently even for obtaining a cell phone connection one has to provide various certificates of identification and residence proof. "Similar is the case for getting other services", he said maintaining that Aadhaar would be a valid proof of identification with the card holder.

The Chief Minister said that Aadhaar will also remove the chances of having fake job cards, fake ration cards, false identity cards and even ghost employments on papers.

Omar Abdullah said that Unique Identification Number would prove more efficient in ensuring benefits to the weaker sections of the society under various schemes in the sectors of Rural Development, Social Welfare, Health and Education sectors. He said it will also check the pilferages and protect privacy of the card holders.

Relating the initiative as an important step in the process of e-governance, Omar Abdullah said that Jammu and Kashmir has to move a long way in catching up with other States who have taken various initiatives to make e-governance rule the roast. "Aadhaar is an important initiative in this regard", he said asking the Information Technology Department to put in place many such initiatives for universalizing e-governance in the State.

Speaking on the occasion Minister for Information Technology, Aga Syed Ruhullah elaborated the benefits of Aadhaar and said that this initiative will facilitate weaker sections to a greater extent to get jobs under MGNREGA, obtain ration cards and get benefits of various social welfare schemes speedily.

Deputy Director General, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Keshni Anand Arora said that the Aadhaar was launched in the country by the Prime Minister in September 2010 and so far more than 1.77 crore Aadhaar cards have been provided to the people in the country. She presented resume of the benefits of Aadhaar and said that the UIDAI is entrusted with the stupendous job of providing Unique Identity Numbers to all the Indian residents above the age of 5 years.

The Jammu and Kashmir Bank has been designated as Registrar in the State for Unique Identification Project.

The project is likely to be completed in three years. There will be enrolling agency which will provide application, capture the photo, finger prints, etc of the beneficiary and send the data to the UIDAI for providing Aadhaar Card.

Advisor to the Chief Minister, Mubarak Gul, Chief Secretary, Madhav Lal, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Commissioner Secretary, Information Technology Department, M K Dwivedi and various senior Central and State officers were present on the occasion.

Governor, CM greet people on Ramzan

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Aug 1: Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today greeted the people on the commencement of the holy month of Ramzan and hoped that this auspicious occasion would be a harbinger of peace, amity, communal harmony, brotherhood, progress and prosperity in the State.

In a message, the Governor said that the holy month of Ramzan is a period dedicated to fasting, prayers and service to fellow human beings and the society and highlights the values of patience, self-restraint, tolerance and austerity, which promote feelings of compassion and respect for others.

The Governor prayed for sustained peace and normalcy in the State and the well-being of all its people.

In his message, the Chief Minister described Ramdhan an opportunity for the subjects of Allah to re-dedicate themselves as His faithfuls and show highest degree of tolerance by observing fast not only on account of eating food but by renunciation of all activities leading to sin and amounting to detrimental to human dignity.

Praying for the peace and prosperity of the State and well-being of the people, Omar Abdullah expressed the hope that the people while seeking forgiveness from Allah will also pray for the peace and development of the State.

Inaugural ceremony of 13-day long Buda
Amarnath yatra held

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: The 13 day long Buda Amarnath yatra was inaugurated at Yatri Niwas Bhagwati Nagar here today. The yatra, which will start from here tomorrow will culminate on Sawan Purnima full Moon coinciding with Raksha Bandhan festival on August 13 at Buda Amarnath temple in Mandi Poonch.

A large number of people including leaders and activists of VHP, Bajrang Dal and Baba Amarnath and Buda Amarnath Yatri Niyas were present on the occasion.

The function started with Maha Yagya and flag hoisting ceremony. Later addressing a gathering the VHP national secretary and spokesperson, Dr Surinder Jain said that his organization wants that Buda Amarnath should also gain countrywide popularity like Swami Amarnath yatra.

He said Swami Amarnath yatra has become popular throughout the country and every Hindu is associated with it. The VHP and BD want that the Buda Amarnath yatra should be run on the same pattern, he added.

He said the Buda Amarnath yatra was running from centuries together but after the militancy gripped the State in 1989-90, this yatra was stopped in the wake of migration of Hindus from Poonch villages. Later Bajrang Dal took a challenge in 2005 to run this yatra and since then the Buda Amarnath yatra is running smoothly.

He said last year over 1.5 lakh pilgrims from different parts of country perform darshan at Buda Amarnath and it is expected that the number will increase this year.

Dr Jain stressed on revival of all religious yatras in J&K and urged the Government to take effective steps in this regard. He said in case the Government faces any problem in reviving these yatras the BD will provide all assistance and cooperation to it.

Stressing on Niyas and Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) cooperation he said, the Board should not side track Niyas and any controversy on yatra should be avoided.

The BJP MLA from Nagrota, Jugal Kishore Sharma was special guest on the occasion. While the function among others was attended by Divisional Commissioner Jammu Dr Pawan Kotwal, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma, Director Health Services, Jammu Dr Madhu Khullar, SSP Jammu, Anant Jain, Drug Controller, Dr Satish Gupta, BD national convener, Subash Chauhan, co-convener Rajesh Pandey, VHP state president Dr Rama Kant Dubey, BABAYN chief Surinder Mohan Aggarwal and others.

SRTC employees, VRS workers stage protest

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: The State Road Transport Corporation employees and the VRS accorded workers of the Corporation staged protest demonstration and took out road march in support of their demands here today.

A large number of employees of the SRTC under the leadership of SRTC Employees Union president Ashok Mehra assembled at SRTC complex here and took out protest march towards the office of Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, at Rail Head Complex. They were carrying banners and placards in their hands listing demands.

These employees were demanding full implementation of 6th Pay Commission report, implementation of the order regarding conversion of COLA into DA of the employees, regularisation of daily wagers, clearance of GP Fund liabilities, implementation of Order No. 157 and release of all the pending COLA slabs.

Mr Mehra while addressing the gathering warned the authorities to fulfill its commitment as the employees were facing lot of hardships. In view of the protest programme, the normal work in the Corporation was also affected during the day.

Meanwhile, VRS accorded employees and workers of the SRTC held protest demonstration at Exhibition Ground near Press Club here today. The volunteer retirement given employees under the leadership of Dev Raj Bali held protest demonstration and sat on dharna despite intense hot today. They were demanding implementation of 6th Pay Commission with effect from January, 2006 up to January 31, 2010, release of CP Fund interests worth Rs 23.28 crores, release of 126 slabs of COLA and implementation of Order No. 237.

Mr Bali pointed out that Finance Department provided budgetary support of Rs 30 crore to the SRTC recently with the direction that 25% fund should be kept for clearance of liability of the employees but the management was misleading the employees and not providing any penny. He sought intervention of the Transport and Finance Ministers in this regard.

Mehbooba playing politics over Sopore incident: Shariq

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Aug 1: Senior National Conference leader and MP Sharief-ud-Din Shariq today accused People's Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti of playing politics over the alleged custodial killing of Nazim Rashid at Sopore.

In a statement, Shariq said that Mehbooba has no sympathy for the bereaved family and her aim is to score political points over the killing. He said Mehbooba should visit the families of persons who were killed in 1990 when PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Syed was the Home Minister of the country.

"Massacres took place at various places in 1990 and these were carried out at the behest of PDP patron. Does Mehbooba have any answer for the killings that took place due to the anti-people policies of her father?," he said.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has already made it clear that whosoever is responsible for the killing of Sopore youth would not be left scott free, the MP said.

Deptt of Posts dedicates modernized Sub Post Office Janipur to public

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: In continuation with the modernization programme of Post Offices all over the country by Department of Posts under Project Arrow, the Sub Post Office, Janipur, today also joined such other post offices of the country which enjoy the facilities of latest technology and modernization.

The Sub Post Office after being modernized was formally dedicated to the public by John Samuel, Chief Post Master General J&K at a simple but impressive function, which besides the staff of the Postal Department was also attended by prominent citizens.

The function among others was attended by Amit Sharma Director Postal Services and Mr Koul the ex officer of the Department.

Speaking on the occasion Mr Samuel said that under the Project Arrow all posts offices in the country will be modernized and the post office in future will be no more the post offices of past and they will be completely modernized and computerized.

He said under the Project Arrow the Instant Money Order Services will also be launched soon and under this scheme the money order will be paid within 10 minutes any where in the country, he added.

He said the post offices will also have a shop where all stationery items will be available for customers on cheaper rates than market.

While appreciating and acknowledging the services of postal officers and staff he lauded the role of three postmen of Janipur Sub Post Office and announced that one among them will be selected for Dak Sewa Award.

He also announced that soon ATM facility will also be available at Jammu Head Post Office.

While highlighting the contribution of customers he said these are customers and not the Government, which keep Postal Department run. It is because of the cooperation of the customers that this Department is able to function, he added.

NPSU relay hunger strike enters 8th day
Students hold protest against delay in
appointment of CU VC

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: The various students organisations held massive protest demonstration in favour of Jammu Central University at various Colleges today whereas the indefinite "Relay Hunger Strike" of National Panthers Students Union (NPSU) today entered 8th day at Shaheedi Sthal, GGM Science College, Jammu.

The students of GGM Science College, SPMR College of Commerce and GDC Paloura gathered in their premises this morning in support of their demand to make the Central University operational at an earliest. They staged protest demonstration against State, Central and HRD Ministry for not taking any decision on the appointment of Vice Chancellor of Jammu Central University on the occasion.

The agitating protesters led by Partap Singh Jamwal (provincial president, NPSU) Thakur Shiv Dev Singh and Lovekesh Gondhi alleged that State and Central Governments have adopted the delaying tactics and it is conspiracy to spoil another session of Central University which would not be tolerated at any cost. They said that delay by the HRD Ministry for taking any decision on the appointment of Vice Chancellor is a conspiracy towards the Jammu region.

They further warned of serious consequences and threatened that movement would take the shape of 2008 Land row agitation if the demand to start the functioning Jammu Central University would not be considered at an earliest.

Pushvinder Singh Manhas, senior vice president of Young Panthers and Incharge NPSU, while interacting with media persons, welcomed the support of political, social and students’ organizations of Jammu region for common cause. He appreciated the leadership of Bar Association Jammu, Chamber of Commerce and Industries, JPPF and many other organizations for intensifying the ongoing struggle of Central University.

The students of GDC Samba, GDC Kathua, GDC Ramnagar, GDC Udhampur, GDC R S Pura, also boycotted their classes and demonstrated against State and Central Governments for playing with students of Jammu regions.

The student leaders appealed the students’ community to remain united to make the CUJ operational at an earliest and be ready for any sacrifices if warranted.

Meanwhile, the hundreds of students under the banner of Akhil Bhartiya Vidhyarthi Parishad and NPSU boycotted classes at SRML Higher Secondary School and gathered at main gate of the School by holding, flags, banners and placards. They shouted slogans against Central and State Governments and demanded justice for students community. They alleged the Kashmir Centric leadership has allegedly delayed the start of the functioning of CU, which was sanctioned along with 15 Universities across the country and had of now, completed more than one session.

Retd Officers flay PDD for frequent power cuts

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: Retired Officers Forum today expressed concern over frequent power cuts in the fully metered areas where the Power Development Department is not supplying the regular power.

A meeting was held under the chairmanship of its president JK Sharma and while speaking he said that PDD has totally failed to check out the power theft in rural as well as in urban areas, which is the prime cause for the shortage of power. He said that all these thefts were going on with the connivance of PDD officials, as no one can resort to power theft without the consent of PDD officials.

He said that PDD will now go on experimenting with installation of different types of electric meters without improvement and effectiveness of their departmental functioning. He said that power cuts were so frequent that the consumer fails to analyze whether the same were due to regular cuts or genuine power faults at some level. A system needs to be evolved and duly advertised so that the customers will become aware of the situation, he added.

Yatra touches 6,15,000 mark in 34 days

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: With 5,000 more pilgrims performing darshan of Ice Shivlingam in cave shrine of Swami Amarnath, the pilgrimage which started on June 29 has crossed a mark of 6,15,000 in first 34 days.

According to a Yatra Officer 5000 pilgrims performed darshan in cave shrine till late tonight while 6,10,000 pilgrims had performed darshan up to late last night. With this the total number of piglrims visiting holy cave has reached to 6,15,000, he added.

He said the yatra is proceeding smoothly and undeterred by vagaries of weather and the yatris are in good spirits.

He said 5,249 pilgrims left for holy cave from twin base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam and Baltal this morning. Out of them 2,747 pilgrims left via traditional Nunwan-Chandanwari track while 1,785 left via shortest Baltal track. Besides 717 pilgrims went by air.

In addition to it hundreds of pilgrims who had reached to haltage camps of Sheshnag and Panjtarni late last night also left for their next sojourn this morning.

Moreover the pilgrims who reached the holy cave late tonight after a night halt will perform darshan early morning tomorrow while those who performed darshan upto late this evening were on their way to Baltal and Pahalgam base camps.

He said the pilgrims who left from Panjtarni and Baltal early this morning performed darshan in cave shrine by late tonight and those from Chandanwari and Sheshnag were on their way to next halting stations where from they will leave for holy cave tomorrow.

He said out of 6,15,000 pilgrims who performed darshan at holy cave by late tonight, six lakh have returned to their home states. Majority of these yatris preferred the shortest Baltal track for return, he added.

One more pilgrim died at holy cave today taking the death toll in ongoing yatra to 86. According to reports Gopi Vipin Kothari, 75, of West Bengal breathed his last at holy cave today due to cardiac arrest.

Meanwhile 33rd batch of 555 pilgrims left the Bhagwati Nagar , Jammu Yatri Niwas for holy cave this morning under tight security arrangements. Comprising 304 male, 100 female, seven children and 144 Sadhus these pilgrims left in a cavalcade of 18 vehicles. All of them had reached Baltal and Nunwan –Pahalgam base camp till last reports came in. These pilgrims will leave for holy cave from there early morning tomorrow.

Airtel launches LiveWell Ramzan pack

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecommunication company with operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa, today announced the launch of a unique VAS pack - LiveWell Ramzan - for its mobile customers in J&K.

Powered by PurpleTeal Technologies, this pack is available at a subscription charge of Re 2 per day and is offered in both English and 'Hinglish'.

The LiveWell Ramzan pack offers customers Daily Message Alerts to inform, prepare, encourage and assist them in observing fast during the holy month of Ramzan. It will additionally provide followers of the fasting season with Alerts on charity and forgiveness - the essence of the month long Ramzan period.

To subscribe, customers can SMS 'Ramzan' or 'RMD' respectively to 54444.

Omar approves 4-laning of Boulevard,
Galender-Narbal by pass

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Aug 1: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on Monday approved Rs. 60 crore 4-lanning project for widening of Boulevard road, Srinagar from Dalgate to Kralsangari in the first phase. He also gave nod to a mega project of constructing 6-lane National Highway by-pass from Galender to Narbal via Yechgam, Budgam which will be extended to Ganderbal in the final phase.

The Chief Minister sanctioned these projects at a high level meeting wherein he received the presentation about the details and financial implications of these two important projects.

The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Home and Housing, Nasir Aslam Wani, Minister of State for R&B, Javid Ahmad Dar, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Principal Secretary R&B, K. B. Agarwal, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Samoon, Chief Engineer, R&B, Nazir Ahmad, Managing Director, JKPCC, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Mehraj Kakroo, Chief Town Planner, Iftikhar Ahmad and various other senior officers.

The Chief Minister directed the executing agencies to urgently formulate the DPRs for the projects and explore possibilities of putting the Galender-Narbal Express Way on PPP mode along with Jammu By-Pass.

"I want all these projects on fast track", he said emphasizing on kick-starting the work within shortest possible time. He said traffic jamming and congested roads are putting the general public in great inconvenience.

"Our endeavour should be to concentrate on this subject positively and effectively to make a necessary dent", he advised the concerned agencies and said that road projects aimed at streamlining traffic and providing better communication facilities to the people is the priority concern of his Government.

The Chief Minister was also briefed about the efficacy of construction of a 4-lane bridge on river Jehlum near Convent School besides strengthening the existing Zero Bridge for light vehicles.

In a power point presentation, the Chief Engineer, R&B explained the details of the two projects importance of these projects to ease traffic movement and improve communication.

Governor inaugurates photo exhibition

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Aug 1: Governor N. N. Vohra has emphasized the need for taking all required initiatives for the rehabilitation of orphans and children in any kind of distress to enable them to grow into balanced and productive members of the society.

The Governor was speaking after inaugurating a photo exhibition titled "Moments: A Chronicle of Childhood", organized by the Child Nurture and Relief (CHINAR) Kashmir here last evening. The CHINAR Kashmir is working for the psychological rehabilitation of orphans and vulnerable children in Kashmir and running a CHINAR Home for a group of orphan boys and girls in Srinagar. The photographs displayed at the exhibition had been taken by the CHINAR children themselves during a month-long workshop organized to impart photography skills to them. The Governor went around the photo exhibition and lauded the visibly high potential of the young children.

The Governor observed that the State has suffered immensely during the past years with huge loss of life and property and rendering a large number of women as widows and many children as orphans. While lauding the noble initiative taken by CHINAR Kashmir for psycho-social rehabilitation of such children, he hoped that there would now be sustained peace and normalcy in the State.

He added that all of us need to give serious thought to the circumstances which engender situations leading to the need for taking initiatives to look after children who become orphans in such extremely unfortunate circumstances as witnessed in Kashmir in the past years. He hoped that many affluent people and organizations would come forward to give a helping hand to such children and to the laudable organizations which support such children.

The Governor announced a support of Rs. one lakh for CHINAR Kashmir and presented awards to half a dozen CHINAR children for their laudable achievements.

In his welcome address, Nazir A. Qureshi, president, Child Nurture and Relief Kashmir, gave details of the present activities of his organization and its future action plan.

Rs 86.76 cr annual plan for Kathua district

Excelsior Correspondent

KATHUA, Aug 1: District Development Board, Kathua which met here today under the chairmanship of Minister for Tourism and Culture, Nawang Rigzin Jora approved Rs. 8676.92 lakh district plan for the current financial year. The plan includes Rs. 5301.02 lakh as capital component and Rs. 3375.90 revenue component. Out of the capital component Rs. 2439.52 lakh is the loan component.

Vice Chairman District Development Board Kathua, Minister of State for Forest, Transport, Employment, CAPD and Power, Shabir Ahmed Khan, Minister of State (Independent Charge Cooperative Stationary and Printing and Elections, MoS planning, Finance, Information Technology, Science and Technology, Industries and Commerce and Higher Education, Dr. Manohar Lal Sharma, Vice Chairman J&K State Advisory Board for Development of Kissan, Mr. Rashpal Singh, Vice Chairperson J&K State Board for Welfare and Development of SC, Swaran Lata, Member Parliament, Doda - Udhampur parliamentary constituency, Lal Singh, MLA Kathua, Charanjit Singh, MLA, Basohli, Jagdish Sapolia, MLA, Bani, Lal Chand, MLA Hiranagar, Durga Dass, MLC, Subash Gupta and heads of various departments and district officers were present on the occasion.

District Development Commissioner, Kathua, Zahida Khan gave a detailed resume of the achievements of last year's plan. She said that against the availability of Rs. 7201.07 lakh, Rs.7109.27 lakh was the expenditure which is 98.73% for the initial approved plan outlay for the year, 2010-11.

Chairman District Development Board, Kathua, Nawang Rigzin Jora directed the authorities to take stringent action against the contractors who fail to complete the works in allotted time. He also asked the MLAs to monitor the implementation of schemes in their respective constituencies. He directed the authorities to complete Bani- Dhaggar road on priority. He also said that repair of transformers will be recommended for additional amount. He directed all the agencies to gear up their works so that by mid term review sufficient progress could have been achieved.

Dr. Manohar Lal Sharma expressed his concern over the targets achieved in Self Employment sector and also raised the issue of poor road connectivity in Billawar, Basohli and Bani and demanded release of additionalities for pending priorities in various works department so that targets could be achieved well in time.

MP. Ch. Lal Singh demanded declaration of Kathua as Agriculture District and stressed upon conservation / renovation of existing water bodies. He also demanded bridge over river Ravi joining Keerian Gandyal with Kathua.

Speaking on the occasion, MLA, Kathua, Charanjit Singh pointed out shortage of doctors at District Hospital, Kathua and other PHCs in the district. He said that roads in Kathua are in dilapidated condition.. He stressed for gearing up the development aznprocess. The MLA also stressed for Inter state Bus stop at Kali- Bari Kathua.

MLA, Basohli, Jagdish Raj Sapolia said that there is shortage of JEs in Rural Development Department due to which works under MGNREGA could not be executed. He said that there is also shortage of staff in PMGSY due to which the development process is suffering.

While speaking on the occasion, MLA, Bani, Lal Chand said that there is lack of road connectivity in the constituency. He pointed out poor performance under MGNREGA in the district.

MLA Hiranagar, Durga Dass relief measures for the flood prone areas of his constituency. He also demanded kind of ration supply according to the needs of the people. MLC Subash Gupta highlighted problems related to road connectivity, water supply and also stressed upon bringing Village Jandi on the tourism Map of the district.

One killed, another injured in bears attack

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Aug 1: One person was killed and another injured when they were attacked by bears in separate incidents today.

A police spokesman said that Mohammad Sultan Lone alias Najar son of Ghulam Qadir resident of Chan Mohallah Drangbal, Baramulla was attacked and mauled by a leopard at Drangbal, falling under the jurisdiction of Police Station Baramulla, resulting in his on spot death. The body of the deceased was handed over to legal heirs for last rites.

He said that Riyaz Ahmad Bhat son of Bashir Ahmad resident of Rajpora-Awantipora was attacked and injured by a bear. The injured was hospitalized at SKIMS Soura.

SIE conducts training programmes

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: State Institute of Education (SIE) conducted five training programmes in different subjects and at different places of Jammu division as part of massive training programme.

In this phase 153 teachers and masters were trained which were organized in the area of teaching of Science at secondary level at Government Higher School Reasi.

Teaching of mathematics was conducted for secondary level at Government Higher Secondary School Reasi.

Computer basic teaching to teachers of CAL adopted schools of district Reasi was done at Government High School, Kamel Danga. Teaching of Urdu was imparted at GHSS Shastrinagar, Jammu, while Social Science was taught at Higher Secondary School, Vijaypur.

BWA for sub categorization of SC categories

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: Jammu Kashmir Batwal Welfare Association (BWA) today condemned the murder of the Batwal community youth namely Kaila and demanded immediate dispensation of justice to the family of the victim.

A meeting was held under the chairmanship of its general secretary RL Kaith. While speaking he said that the children of the community must be provided quality education. He demanded sub-categorization of Scheduled Caste categories as some powerful Scheduled Caste communities have cornered the reservation benefits disproportionately to their population. He also appreciated Ruchi Motan, for securing fifth position in Commerce in Higher Secondary Part II Examination.

The Association urged the Deputy Chief Minister to redress their demands, which stand already submitted to him.

Among others present were Sat Pal Lakhotra, Ramesh Kumar Kaith, Raj Kumar Kaith, Om Parkash Tugga, Kamal Chand Motan, Gunni Ram Kaith, Krishan Lal Kashyap, Dilay Ram Kaith, etc.

Ex-servicemen rally held

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Aug 1: An ex-servicemen rally and a medical camp were organised at Chowkibal today.

A large number of civilians, participated in rally. At the venue, a number of kiosks were established to provide useful information to the ex-servicemen regarding the welfare schemes introduced by the Central and State Governments, employment opportunities and ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme. Additional counters of Canteen Stores Department (CSD),Army Insurance Policies, Banking and Mobile recharge were also established for the benefit of the ex-servicemen.

A medical camp was also organised simultaneously at the venue to attend to the veteran soldiers and locals seeking medical aid and treatment. There were five medical officers from Army and civil including an eye specialist, dentist, medical specialist and a lady doctor. Nearly 360 males, 342 females and 231 children were treated in the camp.

6.5 lakh saplings to be planted during monsoon: Altaf

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU Aug 1: Minister for Ecology, Environment and Forests, Mian Altaf Ahmed today attended the 62nd Van-Mahoutsav organized by Social Forestry Department in the premises of Govt. Polytechnic College Jammu.

Commissioner Secretary to Government Forest Department, Shantmanu presided over the function while Chief Conservator of Forest R.D Tiwari was guest of honour.

Director Social Forestry Department M.S Khan in his keynote and welcome address deliberated upon the importance of Van -Mahoustava and elaborated on various activities and achievements of Social Forestry Department.

While inaugurating the function, the Minister planted a sapling of Arjun tree. He appreciated the role of Social Forestry Department in taking up plantations and emphasized that forestry sector is under tremendous pressure of increasing population and rapid urbanization.

During Van-Mahoutsava, the Minister informed that Government is taking various steps for improvement of environment and ecology of the State. He asked the officers to work in coordination so that the benefits of different schemes launched by the Government reached to the local public.

Mian Altaf said that Social Forestry Department will cover an area of 750 hectares by planting 6.5 lacs plants during this monsoon season.

Abolish discretionary quota of Ministers : BJP

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: Calling for abolition of discretionary quota and powers enjoyed by ministers in Jammu and Kashmir on the pattern proposed for Union Ministers , BJP J&K chief spokesperson and national executive member Dr. Jitendra Singh has accused the Congress party of double standards and said that while at the Centre the Congress-led UPA wants to take credit for having initiated the move to curtail discretionary powers of Union Ministers including allotment of gas coupons, petrol pumps etc., at the State level in Jammu and Kashmir the same Congress party maintains convenient silence and continues to share the booty of loot with its coalition partner, the National Conference.

Dr. Singh said the State Congress leadership owes an explanation in the matter and it cannot be allowed to have the cake and eat it too by ostensibly claiming to check corruption in New Delhi while simultaneously being a beneficiary of corrupt practices in a sensitive state like Jammu and Kashmir.

Citing instances, Dr. Singh said in addition to misuse of discretionary authority in various spheres, including nominations to technical courses and employment for certain jobs, the Ministers in Jammu and Kashmir have also mastered the art of using discretion even in matters where under the rule there is no discretionary powers available to them. For example, the tenders to execute public works are manipulated in such a manner that instead of following a fair allotment procedure, these are handed over to Ministers' chosen henchmen, who in turn share the profits with the concerned Minister even though the Minister under the oath of office is not entitled to be a part of any activity of profit or office of profit, he added.

Dr. Jitendra Singh demanded that it should be mandatory for all the Ministers and top bureaucrats in the State to declare their assets and there should be a mechanism in place to assess and account for the expenditure incurred from State excehequer by each of these high-ups on their air travel, telephone, house rennovation, transport and other miscellenous purposes. He also recommended fast track disposal of corruption cases against bureaucrats and senior officers on the lines of proposal made to the Union Government.

CVPA demands Hill Development Council, Pahari status

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: Chenab Valley People’s Association (CVPA) today held a meeting and elected its president and State vice president. Hundreds of activists of CVPA attended the meeting.

In the meeting, Fairoz Khan from district Ramban was elected as president while as Joginder Singh Thakur from Doda and Narender Sharma from Kishtwar were elected as state vice presidents.

Addressing the gathering, Fairoz Khan said that CVPA will work for the establishment of University in the Chenab Valley including Doda, Ramban and Kishtwar, Jammu University Satellite campus in Ramban, BEd Colleges, a center for preservation and promotion of cultural heritage and regional language.

He demanded Chenab Valley Hill Development Council besides Pahari status for the people of Chenab valley and first preference to the inmates of Chenab valley in all the Hydel projects.

He urged the Government for establishing the Pahari hostel for the students of Chenab valley besides other demands highlighted by the CVPA as the people and students of this region were deprived of justice from the last so many years.

Complete first storey of LD Hospital in 5 months: Chib

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Aug 1: Minister for Medical Education R. S. Chib today set five months deadline for completion of Ist storey of the under construction Lal Ded Hospital building. The prestigious five-storey building is coming up at a cost of Rs 40 crore.

Chairing a high level meeting of officers convened to take stock of its construction, he said in view of the importance of the hospital the construction work has to be accelerated by engaging more men and machinery

The Minister issued instructions to the executing agency to adopt double shift system and ensure completion of the building within stipulated time including its heating system and furniture. He said the hospital is being constructed on modern lines with all latest facilities to treat gynaecological cases. "New LD Hospital will be the best hospital of the Valley using all modern technologies," he added.

The Minister asked the authorities to come up with detailed proposal of Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) for securing funds to take up execution.

The Minister called for immediate auction of the building material. He directed to the concerned agencies to lift debris and used timber within one week so that it may not hamper the construction work.

Among others Commissioner/Secretary Health and Medical Education G. A. Peer, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Mehraj Ahmad Kakroo, SSP Srinagar Syed Aushiq Hussain Bukhari, Principal GMC Srinagar Dr.Qazi Masood, Managing Director JKMPCC, M .M Gupta, Medical Superintendent, Lal Ded Hospital Muhammad Shafi besides senior officers of various departments attended the meeting.

DLL begins five day workshop on
"Radio Broadcasting Skills"

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: Department of Lifelong Learning (DLL), University of Jammu, today organized a five day workshop on "Radio Broadcasting Skills" at its seminar hall.

More than 50 students participated in the workshop and enhanced their audio production skills.

The workshop was inaugurated by Dr Poonam Dhawan, Director, DLL. Ravi Magotra, Programme Head, Radio Kashmir Jammu and Prof Rita Jitendra, Broadcaster, were the special guests at the inaugural ceremony.

Addressing the gathering, Dr Poonam said that this workshop would provide an overview of the Indian Radio Industry as well as some of the techniques used to produce a professional radio show.

Speaking on the inaugural ceremony, Ravi Magotra said that Radio has matured as a medium of communication with more operators and competitions. He said that the possibilities in Internet Radio, Satellite Radio and Cell Phone Radio have also been immense and all this has created a great demand for manpower training needs.

Prof Rita Jitendra in her inaugural speech said that it is amazing to see how so many agencies, especially the institutions of the higher learning like University of Jammu were reaching out to the youth through such programmes. She impressed upon the youth to participate and take benefit from these workshops.

Earlier, Dr Kavita Suri, Assistant Director, DLL, presented the welcome address and in her speech said that the workshop is meant for all those youth who would like to work in the area of Radio Broadcasting or were already engaged in the audio production and keen to upgrade their production skills.

Among others present were Nitish Arora, Senior Prog Officer, Radio Kashmir Jammu, Dr Priyanka Sharma, Dr Bharti Prabhakar, Dr Pallavi Sachdeva, Dr Sandeep Singh, Vivek Sharma, Sita Anand and Rewa Khajuria.

DDC inaugurates Maruti Service Station

Excelsior Correspondent

POONCH, Aug 1: In order to facilitate the people of the border region, District Development Commissioner Poonch, Ajit Kumar Sahu, today inaugurated AS Automobiles, Maruti Authorized Service Station (MASS), in the border district at Surankote in the presence of GA Khawaja, District Development Commissioner, Rajouri.

Addressing the gathering, AK Sahu appreciated the efforts being taken up by Sheikh Ajaz Ahmed, Managing Director, AS Automobiles, for establishing viable business unit in the district by availing self employment scheme which paved the way for other unemployed youth of the district. He urged the youth of the district to resort to self employment instead of searching job in present scenario of global recession.

MASS is equipped with services like computerized wheel alignment, wheel balancing, two post lift and with availability with Maruti genuine spare parts.

Speaking on the occasion, GA Khawaja appreciated the efforts of Sheikh Ajaz Ahmed for setting an example for the other youth of the districts by establishing Maruti Authorized Service Station in the remote border belt.

Sheikh Tahir, presented vote of thanks.

Youth crushed to death, seven hurt in mishaps

Excelsior Correspondent

KATHUA/RAJOURI, Aug 1: A youth was crushed to death by an unknown vehicle near Govindsar in Kathua district on National Highway last night while seven persons were knocked down by two vehicles in separate road mishaps in Rajouri and Billawar today.

A police spokesman said that an unknown vehicle critically injured an unknown youth in the age group of 22-23 years, while he was moving along the road near Govindsar (Hatli Morh) in Kathua at around 10.30 pm on Sunday. The police immediately shifted the injured to District hospital Kathua where doctors referred him to GMC Jammu. He died in Jammu hospital here today. The police has registered a case for investigation.

His body was kept in the mortuary of the hospital for identification. Meanwhile, three youth in the age group of 16-17 years were injured after they were hit by a mini-bus No. JK08/7013 near Billawar today. The injured identified as Vivek Khajuria, Jagdish Singh, son of Krishan Singh and Mukesh Kumar, son of Som Raj of Billawar were hospitalized.

Another report from Rajouri said that four local labourers working with GREF were knocked down by a Maruti Car No. 5981/JK-11 near Kandi Galla in Kotranka when they were returning home after work this evening. All the four were moving along the road when the car hit them from back. SHO Kotranka Irshad and Tehsildar Ali Mohd rushed to the spot. They removed the victims to Kotranka hospital and later to district hospital Rajouri. Condition of two was said to be serious. The victims were identified as Mohd Riaz (28) and Ismail (40), both residents of Swari, Mohd Yasin (25) and Abdul Gaffar hailing from Sakri village. Yasin and Riaz, were referred to GMC Jammu. The police has seized the car while its driver escaped. A case was registered in this connection.

Re-organisation of J&K only solution: NPP

Excelsior Correspondent

Ramban, Aug 1: J&K National Panthers Party organised a massive public rally today which was attended by all the party legislators including . Harshdev Singh, Balwant Singh Mankotia, Yashpal Kundal, Rafiq Shah besides others.

The rally which was attended by large number of people discussed the prevailing political situation in the State and took stock of the development related problems and difficulties faced by the people of this hilly and remote belt.

The Panthers party leaders said that the re-organisation is the ultimate solution of the J&K problem and the people of Jammu province can get their due share only after the re-organisation of the state.

Speaking on the occasion, Harshdev Singh lambasted the State Govt. for utter neglect and disregard of the hilly, bad pocket and remote areas of the State. He regretted that no development activity was visible on the ground despite a plethora of Centrally sponsored schemes having been announced by the Centre. He said that the Govt. was repeatedly making tall announcements and inflated claims but the delivering on the ground was negligible rather absent. He said that it was ironical that despite 64 years of independence, people of remote areas like Ramban were still crying for drinking water, power supply, road connectivity, basic medical facilities, compassion of acquired land and education. He said that the Govt, had totally failed to discharge its Constitutional obligations. Mr. Mankotia, flayed the Central and State Govt. for biased and prejudicial treatment being given to Jammu region. He assumed the people that the issues of Baghliar employees, migrants besides the employment related issues of Ramban people would be vigorously agitated at all forms.

Mr. Kundal and Mr. Shah highlighted the achievements of Panthers party. They reminded the people about the revolutionary achievements of the JKNPP leadership during the tenure of Harshdev Singh as Education Minister. They assured the gathering that the issue of Ramban youth are preferential treatment in Railway projects, Nashri tunnel and different projects would be force fully projected. They flayed the Lighton company constructing tunnel for ignoring the local youth in the matter of engagement. They further demanded adequate compensation for all land acquired from the people.

Severe power crisis again grips Jammu

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: With electricity continues to play hide and seek, there seems to be no end to the power crisis which have gripped the Jammu region this summer in general and during the on going monsoon in particular, adding to the woes of the common man to a great extent.

Though the increasing power crisis including long duration unscheduled curtailments, low voltage and fluctuation have made the life of people miserable throughout the Jammu region, the authorities at the helm of affairs are sleeping over the issue resulting into brewing resentment among the masses against the Department.

Despite the wide spread protests and demonstrations by people in various areas of city and its outskirts against the failure of the Power Development Department to maintain the proper supply of the electricity, the Department has failed to solve the problem in real sense.

The power scenario is so worst in the region that the people having the special lines have also to bear its brunt as the electricity supply remains off on these lines too for hours together.

The residents of Vikram Chowk and surrounding areas held a massive demonstration at Vikram Chowk in protest against the unscheduled power cuts in the area this evening. The irate people of these localities including, men, women and children, came to streets and protested against the PDD’s callousness towards the consumers.

Vikram Singh a resident of the area said that in addition to routine power cuts, the people have been facing an unscheduled power cut from 9 pm to 12 pm daily. Moreover there is also low voltage and power fluctuation in the area.

The situation is in no way better in Janipur, New Plots, Roop Nagar, Patoli, Subash Nagar and other parts of the city where the people are facing the unscheduled power cuts and low voltage problem for over a fortnight now. Ramesh Kumar a resident of Patoli said that the problem is common in every Summer and the Government over the years has not paid any attention to over come it.

He accused the Department of having no concrete policy in dealing with the problem which the people of Jammu have been facing over a decade now. The wires and transformers are out dated and old resulting into the leakage and power loss, he said, adding that the Department did not pay any sincere attention to overcome the problem.

The situation is also worst in the localities of Bantalab, Gurah, Muthi, Barnai, Udaywala, Bohri, Barnai, Darmal, Gurah Keran, Patoli Brahmana, Nagbani and Damana, said Suraj Parkash Padha,ex Sarpanch Muthi.

He said that despite an assurance given by Additional Deputy Commissioner Jammu Sheetal Nanda to the protesting people of the area last month that the power problem will be solved within days, it worsened further since then.

He said that the low voltage and fluctuation besides burning down of power transformers has also damaged the electric gadgets of the people. He said the problem is being faced mostly in the localities of Muthi and Barnai.

Padha alleged that being an important Department the PDD should have a separate Cabinet Minister to look into the problems of the masses properly. Since the Department lies with Chief Minister who is already pre-occupied with other affairs so he can’t pay proper attention to its functioning which is also one of the cause of the problem.

The people will be forced to come to streets again in case the authorities failed to solve the problem said, Mukesh Sharma a social activist from Muthi. He alleged that despite sending huge bills to consumers every month the PDD is unable to maintain the proper power supply.

He warned that the people will desist from paying power tariff in case the power supply is not improved immediately.

YAIKS demands implementation of PM’s package in toto

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Aug 1: Youth All India Kashmiri Samaj (YAIKS) today demanded implementation of the remaining 4300 posts under PM’s package which were meant for Kashmiri Pandits youth.

A meeting was held under the chairmanship of its president RK Bhat and while speaking demanded implementation of PMs packagae in toto as so far only 1700 posts were sanctioned out of 6000. He said that the unfilled categories like SC, ST, OBC and ALC may be converted into Open Merit Category.

He further demanded grant of Rs 25 lakh one time financial assistance in favour of the over aged KP youth, enhancement of cash relief and proper separate accommodation for those Kashmiri youth who have joined their jobs in the Valley.

He urged the Government to entertain the degrees, which were recognized through institutions including Punjab Technical University, Sikkim and Manipal University, which were running their learning centers in the winter capital.

Among others who spoke were DN Bhat, Manoj Handoo, Sunil Koul, Deepak Dhar, Ravinder Sharma, Vinay Raina and Sanjay Ganjoo.



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