Stocking of ration, fuel ordered in view of prolonged closure of NH: Kansal

Principal Secretary Planning, Development & Monitoring Rohit Kansal, flanked by other officers, addressing press conference in Jammu on Sunday. — Excelsior/Rakesh
Principal Secretary Planning, Development & Monitoring Rohit Kansal, flanked by other officers, addressing press conference in Jammu on Sunday. — Excelsior/Rakesh

‘Pay no heed to rumours, Govt acts on safety of J&K students’

* Deployment of addl forces in view of elections

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Feb 24: While issuing appeal to the people of the J&K State not to pay much heed to the rumours and get panicky on the basis of unsubstantiated and exaggerated information being in circulation on social media, Principal Secretary, Planning Development & Monitoring, Rohit Kansal today said that order with regard to the stocking of the ration and fuel in Kashmir have been issued in view of the prolonged closure of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway for the past several weeks.
Kansal, who has been appointed as official spokesperson by the J&K Govt, while addressing a press conference here today said that the stocking of fuel/ rationing was being done in view of apprehensions of the shortage of stocks following prolonged closure of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway due to inclement weather conditions.

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“We are expecting augmentation of stocks with the movement of trucks on the highway following reopening of the highway,” he said.
Regarding distribution of rations, Kansal said that Food Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Department has been asked to ensure judicious distribution of ration as there is procedural requirement of advance stocking of ration for the month of March and there is nothing to create panic about it. He further elaborated that in view of the closure of highway for the past quite some time, availability of essential supplies is being ensured for public convenience in Kashmir.
While referring to the deployment of additional troops in Kashmir, he said the additional forces have been called for the election purpose. Moreover, it is routine practice as the forces keep on moving from one state to another. On a question with regard to stand of J&K Govt in Apex Court on Art 35-A, Kansal said State Govt has already cleared its stand.
Kansal, who was flanked by Principal Secretary, Housing & Urban Development and Principal Resident Commissioner, Dheeraj Gupta; Commissioner Secretary Higher Education, Sarita Chauhan and District Development Commissioner Jammu, Ramesh Kumar, further said, “During the past few days several rumours are in circulation and panic messages are being disseminated and most of these have been based on unsubstantiated or exaggerated pieces of information. Unfortunately, some political parties and organizations too, chose to react to these rumours thereby triggering further panic. My appeal to everyone is not to pay any heed to rumours, avoid fear mongering and not to exaggerate matters,” Kansal maintained.
He further said there has been lot of concern about the safety and security of residents of the J&K state, particularly students residing or studying in other parts of the country. “In the wake of the recent tragic incident at Pulwama, there were reports of alleged harassment of residents and students from J&K. The State Government has been taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of residents of the State residing or working in other parts of the country,” he added.
The State Government nominated 7 Liaison Officers across the country to interact, coordinate with and assist over 20,000 students of the State pursuing education in different parts of the country. “These LOs were nominated for Delhi NCR-Meerut, Jaipur-Bhopal, Chandigarh, Aligarh, Bengaluru, Chennai and Pune for the benefit of students,” he said and added that these officers were already in touch with the students in the cities earmarked for them even before the occurrence of the Pulwama incident. “Following the Pulwama incident, they were further activated and asked to coordinate with the respective college authorities and local administration. A 24×7 helpline was set up at the office of the Resident Commissioner in Delhi to coordinate the efforts of the LOs and to provide information and guidance,” Kansal maintained.
“The office of Resident Commissioner at Delhi made arrangements to accommodate students/other persons in distress, at Kissan Ghar and Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi and to facilitate their safe transit to J&K. A similar helpline was established in the office of Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, as well as in respective district headquarters of Kashmir Division,” he added.