Cabinet discussing high-powered panel report on Amarnath yatra today

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Oct 4: State Cabinet is going to discuss the report of the Special High Powered Committee on Amarnath yatra along with the comments received from various departments in its meeting being held at Civil Secretariat, Srinagar under the chairmanship of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah tomorrow evening.
The Special High Powered Committee came into being after Supreme Court took serious note of reports regarding the mortality of pilgrims visiting Shri Amarnathji Shrine during the annual pilgrimage this year.
While expressing serious concern over the deaths of pilgrims, the Supreme Court in its order dated July 13, 2012, identified a number of issues and directed the Central and State Governments to furnish their positions on various issues ranging from proper medical facilities to the means available with the authorities on ground for handling huge crowd and permitting pilgrims beyond the per day prescribed limit.
Following receipt of affidavits from the State Government and Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, the Supreme Court issued directions for constitution of a Special High Powered Committee with Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir as its Nodal Officer to examine various matters relating to the yatra arrangements.
The Special High Powered Committee submitted its report before the Apex Court of the country on September 7, 2012 and after going through the same the Supreme Court issued directions for inviting comments from various departments within a period of two weeks.
Accordingly, Health and Medical Education, PHE, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Power Development, Forest, Tourism and Culture Departments furnished response to the report of Special High-Powered Committee.
“Now, the report of the Special High Powered Committee along with comments received from various departments are being placed before the Cabinet for consideration and final decision so that Government could file response before the Supreme Court by or before the next date of hearing——October 11”, sources said.
They disclosed that Cabinet will also discuss the Jammu and Kashmir Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2012 and the Jammu and Kashmir Hindu Marriages Rules, 2012 before passing necessary orders.
“The need to carry out detailed exercise in this regard arises following the Supreme Court directions whereby it had directed that marriages of all persons, who are citizens of India and belonging to various religions should be compulsorily registrable in their respective States”, sources said.
It is pertinent to mention here that State Government had constituted a Cabinet Sub-Committee comprising Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Minister for Industries and Commerce and Minister for Health and Horticulture to carry out detailed discussion in this regard.
Later, the comments of cross section of society were invited and accordingly the same were incorporated and draft bill modified, sources said, adding “now the Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Department is placing before the Cabinet the J&K Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2012 and J&K Hindu Marriages Rules, 2012 for its approval so that the same could be placed before the ongoing session of State Legislature.
According to sources, the Cabinet will also consider and issue necessary orders regarding re-employment of Dr Mohammad Amin Wani, retired Director Health Services, Kashmir as Medical Superintendent, Super Specialty Hospital, Srinagar.
It will also consider improvement and upgradation of Ramnagar-Dudu Road up to Latti under Special Task Force, Jammu, creation of staff for newly upgraded Middle Schools to the level of High Schools under Rashtriya Madhymik Shiksha Abhiyaan (RAMSA) and placement of the post of IGP Prisons and Correctional Services in the next pay band.

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