Uproar, noisy scenes in Upper House
Oppn members

protest killings, troop
into well; stage walk-out

By Gopal Sharma

JAMMU, Mar 1: The Upper House today witnessed uproar and noisy scenes after the opposition People’s Democratic Party and NPP members held protest demonstration and trooped into the well...more

Rs 331.70 cr to be
generated from Dul Hasti,
Baglihar projects: Taj

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Taj Mohi-ud-Din today said that two hydro-electro projects namely Dul Hasti and Baglihar under the implementation of Water Regulatory Authority Act will generate Rs. 331.70 crore. He was replying to the question by Khalid Najib....more

Shun rigidity, put view
point before
interlocutors: Ramzan to Hurriyat

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: National Conference Chief Whip Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan today initiated discussion on motion of thanks on Governor’s address in the Assembly. Choudhary spoke in favour of the motion and dwelt at length on the steps....more

ST recovery worth
Rs 500 cr pending : Vakil

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: State Government has failed to make Sales Tax recoveries worth over Rs 500 crores from nearly 1500 tax defaulters so far besides contesting pending cases effectively in the courts. Member Legislative Council from Congress Party Abdul Ghani Vakil.....more

Rs 120 cr for conservation of Wullar Lake: Mian Altaf

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1 : Minister for Forests, Mian Altaf Ahmad today said that Rs. 120 crore has been sanctioned by Central Government under 13th Finance Commission for the conservation of Wullar...more

 

Zero Hour in Council

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: Several matters of public importance were raised in the Zero hour today in Legislative Council. T.S. Wazir demanded payment of the compensation to the persons whose houses have been acquired due to the widening of the road from Satwari to R.S. Pura. Javed Rana demanded that the people employed in the Parnia project in Poonch be rehabilitated in the mechanical division...more

Speaker announces
panel of Chairmen

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: Speaker, Legislative Assembly, Mohammad Akbar Lone today announced the names of the panel of Chairmen for the current budget session. These include Ch. Mohammad Ramzan, Hakim Mohammad Yasin and Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami....more

Discussion on Motion of
Thanks in LC
Resumption of Indo-Pak

talks welcome step: Qureshi

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: While initiating discussion on Motion of Thanks on Governor's address, Mohammad Rashid Qureshi (NC) welcomed the resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue and demanded implementation of recommendation of Vth Working Groups of Justice Sagir Ahmed. Mr Qureshi also said that the...more

     
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Governor for skill upgradation of ex-servicemen
* CM announces Rs 20 lakh as financial assistance ..........

Omar underscores conservation of water bodies.......

Review structure of relief to displaced KPs: PK............

PoK refugees to march towards Jagti on Mar 3..........

MLC highlights people’s problems..............

Founder of Tanda Tigers Force honoured........

SAIL assists needy patients with help on wheels......

`English, Urdu copies of Address different'
It's PoK not PAK, BJP reminds Mehbooba......

Inquiry demanded into dismantling of urinal........

Senior citizens meet President........

Baig, Mir tiff in Assembly........

CM visits Jagti Township, inspects works.......

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1 : The Satellite Township at Jagti for Kashmiri Migrants is presently receiving fine tuning for its expected inauguration by the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh during his visit to Jammu. Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah today visited Jagti near Nagrota and inspected various aspects of the completion of the project.

Police foils Physiotherapists’ march towards Civil Sectt.......

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: Police today foiled attempt of Jammu and Kashmir Physiotherapist Association (JKPA) to march towards Civil Secretariat, Jammu. Hundreds of Physiotherapists assembled in SMGS Hospital and started marching towards Secretariat via Indira Chowk, but were stopped by the police, which resorted to mild cane-charging. Police arrested nearly 70 Physiotherapists including Dr Vimal Singh Manhas, President, JKPA, Jammu, Dr Jagat Singh, president, Haryana Physiotherapist Association, Victor Disuza, National Vice President, All India Students Federation (AISF) from New Delhi, Parvesh Chandil, National Executive Member and All India Youth Federation (AIYF) from Himachal Pradesh.

Governor, CM greet people on Mahashivratri........

7 docs, 12 paramedics found absent.......

Principal, Professors among several found absent.........

CM briefs Governor.......

Agri technocrats' fast unto death continues.......

Historic Shiv Khori mela inaugurated .......

40,000 un-electrified households to be provided solar home lights........

3 burglars arrested.......

Governor’s initiative against tobacco menace.........

5 SHOs, Incharge PP posted.......

Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor in Valley for film shoot........

NDMA member visits AIIMS........

FIR lodged against substandard fertilizers manufacturers: Slathia........

JKFESD organizes awareness cum training programme on fire fighting at JU..........

Dream Care celebrates second Annual Day.......

CRPF, police being trained to tackle mob.......

Tragedy averted as beam ‘falls’ from cargo copter..........

PSC to take legal action against news paper.......

NH reopens; movement of trucks restricted..........

Shobha Yatra taken out on eve of Maha Shivratri........

USTA deputation calls on Director.........

NSUI holds protest against Govt..........

 

Uproar, noisy scenes in Upper House
Oppn members protest killings,
troop into well; stage walk-out

By Gopal Sharma

JAMMU, Mar 1: The Upper House today witnessed uproar and noisy scenes after the opposition People’s Democratic Party and NPP members held protest demonstration and trooped into the well, causing disruption in the smooth conduct of the House proceedings during Question Hour here today.

As the State Legislative Council commenced its proceedings at 11 AM, all the three PDP members – Murtaza Ahmed Khan, Sayed Asgar Ali and Nizam-ud-Din Khatana besides lone National Panthers Party member, Sayed Rafiq Shah stood up and tried to draw the attention of the Dy Chairman Arvinder Singh towards the killings of innocent persons in Kashmir during agitation, seeking action against the killers. They were also demanding release of all the political prisons and children picked up by police on the charges of pelting stones.

Murtaza Khan (PDP) moved an adjournment motion on the issue, which however, was rejected by the Dy Chairman. He however, offered to give separate time for discussion in the House if the members proceed as per rules. The PDP and NPP members then started raising slogans, "Kaatlon Ko Saza Do’’, …"Katil Sarkar Hai..Hai’’ and "Begunahon Ko Chhor Do’’.

These members kept shouting slogans for some time while standing at their allotted respective seats. All the three PDP members then walked into the well raising slogans while, NPP member also moved from his place and joined them at the main entrance of the House. Their protest continued for some time.

The NC members M R Qureshi, Javed Rana and Congress members Naresh Gupta, A G Vakil and another Narboo Gialchan from Ladakh also stood up and tried to intervene. They also passed remarks on shouting Opposition members, pleading the chair to restore order in the House. Repeated requests of the Dy Chairman failed to restore order in the house. The noisy scenes in the house disrupted the conduct of smooth business for about fourteen minutes. Amidst pandemonium, Dy Chairman directed Congress member Bashir Ahmed Magray to raise his first question which was part of business of the House. The Minister for Industries and Commerce S S Slathia started replying despite noisy atmosphere. While protesting in the House for about 14 minutes, all the three PDP members staged walk-out of the House, followed by the NPP member Rafiq Shah.

The PDP members stayed away from the House during entire business today, however, the NPP member, Mr Shah returned to the House during Zero Hour.

Rs 331.70 cr to be generated
from Dul Hasti, Baglihar projects: Taj

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Taj Mohi-ud-Din today said that two hydro-electro projects namely Dul Hasti and Baglihar under the implementation of Water Regulatory Authority Act will generate Rs. 331.70 crore.

He was replying to the question by Khalid Najib Suharwardy in Legislative Council during Question Hour today.

Mr Taj said bills for an amount of Rs. 8.75 crore and Rs. 19.22 crore for the period of November 10 to December 31, 2010 have been raised by the department against a above mentioned NHPC and the revenue realized will be credited to the consolidated fund of the State.

Replying to the supplementaries raised by Ajay Sadhotra and Sheikh Ghulam Rasool that under the Act if the user didn't pay the bills in due time, 15% interest would be charged on the amount.

In reply to another question raised of Abdul Gani Vakil, the Minister said that high lift with capacity of 150 cusec of Rafiaabad Lift Irrigation Scheme is functional and the steps are on the way to make functional the low lift of the scheme also during this year. He said Rs. 35.60 crore would be spent on this scheme.

In reply to another question raised by Naresh Kumar Gupta, Mr. Taj said that an amount of Rs. 34.1 crore has been paid to the private parties for the last three years as hire charges by the PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Department.

Replying to the supplementaries raised by Abdul Rashid Qureshi, Altaf Ahmad and Khalid Najib Suhrawardhy, the Minister for PHE, I&FC said that these vehicles have been hired by the concerned local officers on daily basis as per the office requirement. It saves 50% Government money.

In another question raised by Narboo Gialchan, the Minister said the annual plan of Leh district for irrigation projects is formulated independently at the district level by LAHDC without involvement of heads of the department as the district is working under the administrative control of the Ladakh Affairs Department and gets lump-sum allocation from the Planning and Development Department after which the district plan is finalized as per priorities.

He said 13 minor irrigation projects at an estimated cost of Rs. 62. 42 crore are going on under Centrally Sponsored Scheme AIBP against which Rs. 13.07 crore have been incurred upto ending January 2011. He said during 2010-11, budget certificate alongwith UCs stand submitted to the Central Government, Minister of Water Resources for release of Central assistance under AIBP.

Shun rigidity, put view point
before interlocutors: Ramzan to Hurriyat

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: National Conference Chief Whip Choudhary Mohammad Ramzan today initiated discussion on motion of thanks on Governor’s address in the Assembly.

Choudhary spoke in favour of the motion and dwelt at length on the steps taken by the Government towards socio-economic progress of the State. He said the State has come out from morass and hoped that every citizen will extend helping hand to Government in restoring complete normalcy in the State.

He said no doubt several innocent killings took place in different parts of Valley but appreciated the deep concern of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who personally went to victims and assured that perpetrators would be brought to book.

He said several enquires set up by the present Government have been taken to their logical end, adding Chief Minister has categorically directed the security forces to exercise restraint while dealing with unrest.

He appealed Hurriyat leaders to shun the path of rigidity and come forward to put their view point before the interlocutors appointed by the Central Government.

Congress MLA Ashok Kumar also spoke in favour of the Governor’s address and appreciated steps taken by the Government for the prosperity and development of all the three regions of the State. He said every section of the society has been taken care of.

Balwant Singh Mankotia (NPP termed the Governor’s address as repetition of previous reports. He sought reports of Working Groups constituted by the Prime Minister and demanded equal treatment to all migrants. He also reiterated the demand for constitution of Delimitation Commission for carving out new constituencies to remove regional imbalances.

He also demanded fulfilment of promises made to the Government employees and releasing 6th Pay Commission arrears to avoid confrontation in this regard.

National Conference MLA, Mustafa Kamal castigated opposition for dividing people and disturbing peace in the State for petty vested interests. He said autonomy resolution passed by the State legislature with 2/3 majority is the complete solution for Kashmir problem. He called for exploiting the vast potential in agriculture and tourism sectors.

Choudhary Zulifkar (PDP) appreciated Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah’s move towards consolidation of infrastructure in various sectors including in schools, adding that unfortunately his directions are not being implemented seriously on ground. He sought attention of the Government towards rising prices of essential commodities and food-grains.

He said a large number of villages are still without basic facilities including electricity, roads and water. He called for redressing the grievances of the people with regard to Sadak- Pani- Bijli and health.

BJP MLA Durga Dass regretted inadequate staff in Government schools. He said Government should fill up all vacant posts in schools as poor children receive education in these institutions.  He also called for appointment of Patwaris for every village, saying that absence of the same hampers collection of even basic revenue documents from the revenue offices. 

Krishan Chander Bhagat (Congress) said that new initiatives taken by the Coalition Government will improve facilities in all areas. He appreciated the programmes and policies of the Central and State Governments.

NC MLA, R S Sharma also spoke in favour of the Governor’s motion and said that due attention has been given to all sectors.  He demanded early starting of work on ambitious Jammu-Poonch Railway line for which necessary survey stands completed. He also demanded setting up of more lift irrigation schemes to improve irrigation facilities in Nowshera areas.

He said Government has taken steps for the border migrants but the people living near the frontal areas need special treatment as they often face threat of firing from across the border. He also demanded early establishment of polytechnic college at Sunderbani, which he said was already promised by the Government

PDP’s Nizzam-ud-Din Bhat advocated for dialogue and reconciliation to solve issues and encourage value based politics atleast for the sake of those who have been rendered orphans and injured due to political uncertainty in the State. He called for rising above politics and conscientious thinking to relieve the people of poverty and deprivation. He also urged for political stability in the State.

ST recovery worth Rs 500 cr pending : Vakil

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: State Government has failed to make Sales Tax recoveries worth over Rs 500 crores from nearly 1500 tax defaulters so far besides contesting pending cases effectively in the courts.

Member Legislative Council from Congress Party Abdul Ghani Vakil during Question Hour in the House today raised this issue in presence of Minister for Finance Abdul Rahim Rather. The minister admitted that ST recovery was still to be made from nearly 1500 tax defaulters and the amount may be little higher but at the same time he informed that during 2009-2010, the Finance department has managed to recover tax to the tune of Rs 75.64 crore.

Mr Rather pointed out that department has taken several steps to improve tax recovery regime and managed to register a growth of 20 % in tax recovery this year, despite longer unrest in Kashmir valley. He claimed that Planning Commission of India has also lauded the efforts of the J&K Government in realization of Tax.

While replying to yet another question of Mr Vakil, the Finance Minister said once the tax due becomes arrears, the process of recovery is initiated through Collector ( Dy Commissioner Commercial Taxes-Recovery), who initiates process under the J&K VAT Act, 2005, the J&K GST Act, 1962 read with the J&K Land Revenue Act Samvat, 1996.

Giving break up of the recovery, Mr Rather said that during 2009-10, the department recovered tax worth Rs 1283 lakhs in Kashmir while Rs 4702 lakhs from Jammu region. The recovery from Jammu during 2010-11 (ending Dec) was to the tune of Rs 619 lakh while 959 lakh from Kashmir. Jammu contributed total Rs 53.21 crore while Kashmir region Rs 22.43 crores of Tax revenue, he added.

Mr Rather further disclosed that nearly 350 cases of ST recovery were pending in the court of law. The defaulters obtained stay in these cases and the department was unable to effect the recovery.

While referring to the pending recovery worth Rs 9 crores from a Kashmir based reputed firm, Mr Vakil said for how long the Government will remain inactive and helpless. Why the services of renowned lawyers are not being hired by the department to pursue the cases effectively in the courts. He also made mention in the House about a businessman turned politicians who switched over to another party and stressed for affective steps for making recovery from such people. He said it has hampered, rather badly affected the development of the State. The minister, however, assured the House about resolve of the Government to vigorously follow the cases and make recovery along with penalty from the defaulters.

Rs 120 cr for conservation of Wullar Lake: Mian Altaf

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1 : Minister for Forests, Mian Altaf Ahmad today said that Rs. 120 crore has been sanctioned by Central Government under 13th Finance Commission for the conservation of Wullar lake in Kashmir.

This information was given by the Minister after a question raised by M. Y. Taing in Legislative Council today. He said soon Wullar Lake Development Authority will be constituted for taking comprehensive measures for its preservation.

While replying the supplementaries raised by Jehangir Mir and Sheikh Ghulam Rasool, the Minister said the conservation of the project of the lake was framed by a renowned international agency namely ‘Wetland International Southland’. He said the comprehensive management plan has been prepared for the conservation and management of the lake in which demarcation and survey of the lake has been included as one of the components.

Mr Altaf said the decision regarding eviction and re-orientation and re-settlement of lake dwellers will be taken on the completion of this exercise while as sewerage treatment plants are proposed to be established in the peripheral towns of the lake and also sanitation units are proposed to be given to the population living in the vicinity of the lake.

Regarding extraction of Nelembium, acquiring foods and fishes from the lake, the Minister said during 2009-10, hundred quintals of Nelembium crop and 530 quintals of Singara has been extracted from the Wullar Lake. Besides 6,000 tonnes of fish have been also extracted by the registered 2500 fishermen during the period, he added.

Zero Hour in Council

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: Several matters of public importance were raised in the Zero hour today in Legislative Council.

T.S. Wazir demanded payment of the compensation to the persons whose houses have been acquired due to the widening of the road from Satwari to R.S. Pura.

Javed Rana demanded that the people employed in the Parnia project in Poonch be rehabilitated in the mechanical division besides paying pending dues to them.

M.R. Qureshi highlighted the need of providing fertilizers at an appropriate time to the farmers of Rajouri and Poonch.

Abdul Gani Vakil demanded the recovery of Sales Tax pending with different businessmen.

Mr. Asgar Hussain Karblai demanded the payment of compensation promised to the families affected by the 2010 floods and also to the orchardists whose land has been acquired for the widening of Kargil Highway.

Showkat Ahmed demanded completion of water filtration plants commissioned in Wachi constituency.

Ajay Sadhotra demanded payment of 6th Pay Commission scale to the members of sub-ordinates judiciary.

B.R. Kundal called for making research and report about the damage being observed in the recent wheat crops and instructions be passed to the concerned for necessary action.

M.Y. Taing advocated for a Sarai for the devotees coming to the Charar-i- Sharief shrine on the pattern of different shrines of the State.

Naresh Gupta called for the filling of the vacant posts of the Bhaderwah tehsil so that the people of the area do not face any inconvenience.

Altaf Wani demanded speedy completion of the road widening project from Khanabal to Srinagar.

Jehangir Mir demanded the immediate filling of the posts of Dental technicians of Poonch district.

Rafiq Ahmed Shah and Amrit Malhotra raised the issues Agriculture Technocrats (ReZ) and Physiotherapists, respectively.

Speaker announces panel of Chairmen

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: Speaker, Legislative Assembly, Mohammad Akbar Lone today announced the names of the panel of Chairmen for the current budget session.

These include Ch. Mohammad Ramzan, Hakim Mohammad Yasin and Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami.

Discussion on Motion of Thanks in LC
Resumption of Indo-Pak talks welcome step: Qureshi

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: While initiating discussion on Motion of Thanks on Governor's address, Mohammad Rashid Qureshi (NC) welcomed the resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue and demanded implementation of recommendation of Vth Working Groups of Justice Sagir Ahmed.

Mr Qureshi also said that the Gujjars and Bakerwals need to be granted Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, in view of their poor social and economic conditions. He appreciated the initiatives of government for constituting Kissan Development Board and demanded formation of Hill Development Council for Rajouri and Poonch districts on the pattern of Ladakh Hill Development Council.

Qureshi lauded the initiative of Union Government for launching Skill Development Mission saying that it would benefit a large number of unemployed youth of the State. He said that a lot has been done for rehabilitation of Kashmiri Migrants, demanding that rehabilitation of Migrants of Poonch, Rajouri and Balakot on similar pattern.

Referring to the last year's unrest in the Valley, Mr. Qureshi said that zero tolerance to human rights violations needs to be applied in letter and spirit. Regarding rehabilitation of youth gone across the border, he said that policy framed for the purpose needs to be implemented.

B. A. Magray, (Cong) while taking part in the discussion underlined the need for development of ruralities, adding that over 80 per cent of the population of the State is living in the rural areas. He also appreciated the steps of the government for constitution of Kissan Boards at District and block levels, adding that these boards will facilitate development of farmers.

Appreciating the Government for bringing Land Use Bill, he said it will go a long way to curb the conversation of agriculture land for construction purposes. He also appreciated the Government for fulfilling its commitment for conduct of Panchayat elections in the State and said that it would strengthen the people at grass-root level.

Mr Magray expressed his gratitude to the Union Government for earmarking funds for promotion of saffron and basmati rice in the State. He said well knit development plan needs to be framed for Srinagar city for enhancing its beauty to attract the tourists and maintain its heritage.

Governor for skill upgradation of ex-servicemen
* CM announces Rs 20 lakh as financial assistance

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: The Governor, N. N. Vohra and the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah today called for taking all required measures for skill re-orientation/upgradation of ex-servicemen to enhance their employability.

The Governor and the Chief Minister were addressing the 73rd meeting of the J&K Rajya Sainik Board, at Raj Bhavan, here today.

The Governor, suggested that Ex-Servicemen may be encouraged and enabled to run cooperative transport units in the State as this could contribute to a good number of them getting gainfully engaged. To effectively safeguard and promote the interests of Ex-Servicemen and their families, the Governor stressed the importance mobilizing adequate resources.

The Rajya Sainik Board chaired by the Governor, reviewed in detail the progress made in regard to the construction of Sainik Bhawans at Srinagar and Jammu and Sainik Sarais at Rajouri, Kargil and Kupwara. Employment of Ex-Servicemen in the State Police, acquisition of land for Sainik Welfare Housing Colonies etc. also came under review at the meeting.

The Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah announced a one time grant of Rs. 20 lakh from the State Government for providing financial assistance to the blind and paraplegic Ex-Servicemen of the State permanently residing in the special institutes run by the Ministry of Defence.

Later, chairing the meeting of the State Managing Committee for Funds, the Governor, who is the Chairman of the Committee, dwelt on the budgetary support being provided by the State Government to the Department of Sainik Welfare, as also the contribution of the Kendriya Sainik Board to the J&K Rajya Sainik Board. He emphasized the need for evolving appropriate strategies to enhance the mobilization and collection of funds at all levels, for enhancing the welfare of Ex-Servicemen and their families.

The meeting among others was attended by the Minister for Youth Services and Sports, R. S. Chib; Minister for Revenue, Raman Bhalla; Chief Secretary, Madhav Lal; Principal Secretary, Home, B. R. Sharma; Army Commander, Northern Command, Lt. Gen. K. T. Parnaik; Chief of Staff HQ, 9, 14, 15 and 16 Corps, Principal Secretary to the Governor, R. K. Goyal; Maj. Gen. Pramod Behl, DG (R), New Delhi; Capt (IN) A. Mehrotra, representative of the Kendriya Sainik Board; Vineet Saini, Deputy Secretary, representative of the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence, New Delhi; Col. Lokesh Kushwaha, Director Resettlement, North Zone, and non-official members, Lt Cdr (Retd) J .P. Kotwal; Lt Col (Retd) Karam Chand; Brig. (Retd) R. S. Jamwal and Hony Capt Bana Singh, PVC.

A detailed power point presentation was made bt Secretary, Rajya Sainik Board, Brig. (Retd) R. S. Langeh on the occasion, detailing the measures taken for the welfare of the Ex-Servicemen, financial status of the Board, construction of Sainik Sarais and the implementation of the various decisions taken in the last meeting of the Board.

Omar underscores conservation of water bodies

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1 : Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on Tuesday underscored the protection and preservation of water bodies as the earnest duty of every citizen to safeguard the ecology, environment and water resources of the State.

Chairing a meeting of Suransar-Mansar Development Authority (SMDA) here, the Chief Minister reviewed the progress and achievements of the authority for the development and beautification of these places of tourist and pilgrim importance.

The Chief Minister said that the Development Authorities constituted to protect and develop State's rich treasure of natural beauty, lakes and water bodies, should render their service with dedication and sincerely in accomplishing the stupendous goal.

Minister for Tourism, Nawang Rigzin Jora, Minister of State for Tourism, Nasir Aslam Wani, Political Advisor to the Chief Minister, Davender Singh Rana, legislators, Harshdev Singh, Jugal Kishore, Yashpal Kundal, Principal Secretary Planning and Development, Khurshid Ahmad Gani, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas and various senior officers were present in the meeting.

In a PowerPoint presentation the Chief Executive Officer, SMDA explained the physical and financial progress made by the Authority during the year 2010-11.

He told the meeting that the Authority has completed children amusement park, restaurant, cafeteria and games facility, club building, day boarding and community kitchen, bathing ghats, viewing decks, shopping complex, public convenience, water aerators, viewing points, paths, parking places and approach road to club at and around Mansar Lake.

He said park at a cost of Rs. 50 lakh is under progress in Surinsar Lake area while as bathing ghats, children park, tower lights, view points and other facilities have already been completed.

The CEO said that at Purmandal rain shelter sheds, view points, lotus pond, high mast lights and park has also been completed. While in Utterbani pilgrim spot community kitchen, lighting system, shelter sheds have also been completed.

Giving details of the development programmes under execution in these areas, the CEO said that an expenditure of Rs. 3.20 crores have been incurred on various works programmes under the SMDA during the current financial year by the end of February.

The Chief Minister approved Rs. 50 lakhs for the land acquisition for constructing tourist infrastructure at Mansar, Surinsar, Purmandal and Utterbahni.

The meeting reviewed the physical and financial achievements registered during the current financial year and also got appraisal of the action taken on various decisions made in the first meeting of SMDA.

Review structure of relief to displaced KPs: PK

Excelsior correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: Panun Kashmir (PK) urged Prime Minister to review the entire structure of the policy of Government of India on the issue of return and rehabilitation of displaced Kashmiri Hindus. This policy in the State has been primarily used as an instrument of blackmail and holding hostage the displaced Kashmiri Hindus to a political order, which serves Muslim communal and separatists imperatives in the State.

In a press statement issued here today, Dr Ajay Chrungoo, Chairman, PK, asked the PM to realize that his employment package for the displaced Kashmiri Hindus is being used to exploit the destitution of Kashmiri Hindus to return to valley in conditions which are far worst than in 1990.

He said that PK is of a strong opinion that PM should take due notice of the fact that the organs of State Government and the society in Kashmir valley have been demonstrating a brazen communal and separatist bias in recent times.

He further said that the so called voluntary undertakings by the Kashmiri Hindus to return are basically smoke screens created by the State Government in cohorts with the communal establishment of the valley to hide the real motives behind the process. These undertakings are in fact no more than ploys of holding hostage of displaced Kashmiri Hindus to create a secular mirage.

Ajay appealed to the PM to intervene and ensure that the employment package for displaced Kashmiri Hindus is implemented in Jammu by temporarily shifting all the newly created posts from valley to Jammu till normalcy is restored there.

He maintained that Government of India should correct its approach and not indulge in symbolism, which is vicious, and self defeating. It is the return of normalcy that will ensure return of displaced Kashmiri Hindus to valley as well as restoration of its secular texture. Forced return will neither ensure return nor restoration of normalcy, he added.

PoK refugees to march towards Jagti on Mar 3

Excelsior Correspondent

Jammu, Mar 1: Sticking to the demand of allotment of flats at Jagti, Rajiv Chuni chairman S. O. S. International - an Organisation for PoK refugees has warned the Government to issue immediate orders for allotting of flats to PoK refugees otherwise it will be a counter-productive for the coalition regime.

While addressing media persons here today Mr. Chuni said that refugees have forewarn the Government to concede their demand for allotment of flats at Jagti otherwise PoK refugees will have no other option but to forcibly occupy these flats. "The State Govt had not heed to our demand for allotment of flats at Jagti township constructed at the cost of Rs. 500 crores to PoK refugees so we are going to occupy these flats forcibly on Thursday March 3," he maintained.

Elaborating the plan Mr. Chuni told the reporters that these ethnic Hindu and Sikh minorities and permanent residents of J&K State - the destitute refugees from PoK are languishing in 39 filthy camps under subhuman conditions for the last 63 years in Jammu province and for all these years Govt did nothing to provide them with better living conditions. Government has constructed modern flats at Satellite town with all basic amenities at Jagti (Nagrota) by incurring hundreds of crores of tax payer money for a particular class of migrants from Kashmir valley by ignoring the other such worst effected class." To forcibly occupy the flats, we have planned to assemble at Bikram Chowk, Jammu on Thursday March 3, 2011 at 11 am to march towards Jagti in a cavalcade to occupy the flats forcibly he added.

Mr. Chuni appealed to the common people of Jammu in general and refugees in particular to come and join the "Jagti Chalo" march to get justice, He condemned the attitude of State as well as Central Govt for applying two yard sticks for relief and rehabilitation of Valley migrant vis--vis PoK Refugees.

The Govt of India in its Kashmir centric policy of appeasement to majority community and liberal relief and rehabilitation policy for Kashmir Pandits (KPs) is flawed and lacks the basic principals of Human Rights and UN charter is further internationalising the vexed problems of Jammu and Kashmir. It is a fact the India can't vacate the PoK areas as already four wars have been fought with Pakistan with no outcome and only added the problems and miseries of PoK Refugees, Chuni said.

"We demand here for fresh registration of all the PoK refugees living in J&K and other parts of India by a special census, transfer of all the laws for relief and rehabilitation of refugees of partition like extension of "Displaced Persons Compensation and Rehabilitation Act of 1954" in J&K as there is no law to tackle the problems of refugees in Jammu and Kashmir, a uniform policy for PoK Refugees, constitution of PoK Refugees Development Board, a comprehensive package for PoK Refugees with special attention to youth, immediately shifting of camp inmates to the newly constructed satellite towns he added..

MLC highlights people’s problems

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: The Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party (PDP) MLC Syed Asgar Ali flayed interlocutors for ignoring district Kishtwar despite all water resources and mineral wealth in shape of sapphire mines there.

He said that more than 50 per cent of its people live in pathetic conditions and large population is still unconnected, un-electrified, educationally backward with almost zero industrial activity and are practically permanent victim of drought and totally depended on the ration supply of FCI.

The region therefore shows a alarming picture of imbalance so far development and progress is concerned, more over this region has equal number of Hindu and Muslim population with a slight difference, MLC added.

He urged the interlocutor to visit this region and register the aspirations of the people of Chenab Valley before making the conclusion about the State problems.

Founder of Tanda Tigers Force honoured

Excelsior Correspondent

Akhnoor Mar 1: K P Singh who raised Tanda Tiger Force of Civilians during Op Vijay ( Kargil War of 1999 ) was presented the Northern Army Commander’s Commendation Card by Maj Gen Rakesh Sharma, General Officer Commanding of Cross Swords Division at headquarters today.

This award was conferred on him by Lt Gen B S Jaswal, GOC-in-C, Northern Command on Aug 15, 2010 for his volunteer service rendered to the Army during ‘Op Vijay’. It may be recalled that Army needed 3600 Civilians from J&K to raise 6 Army Porter Companies of 600 Civilians each for helping the Army carrying its war like stores and ammunition to high mountain peaks in Kargil sector when Pakistan Army personnel had occupied vacant post in 1999.

Knowing the requirement of the Army and the challenge faced by the nation and its urgency, K P Singh along with his companions and associates mainly from Village Tanda of Akhnoor Tehsil numbering 250 reached Udhampur on June 8, 1999 and offered their volunteer services to the Army as porters. Appreciating his initiatives, Brig T S Chauhan, the Sub Area Commander Udhampur asked K P Singh to stay back to get more porters to meet the requirement of 3600. The rest were enrolled in No 1 Porter company at Udhampur and send to Kargil . Thereafter, with his own initiative and help of patriotic friends and associates they exhorted young boys to come to the service of nation. Army was able to get more than 2500 volunteers enrolled as Porters To compliment his efforts and most needed timely help, K P Singh received letters of appreciation from Sh Krishan Kant, Vice President of India; Girish Saxena, Governor J&K, GOC-in-C, Northern Command and GOC 15 Corps besides many other civilian and military dignatories.

The function was attended by Brig Rai, Station Commander, Commanding Officers of the Division and staff officers besides civilians of the area. GOC presented him the written Citation and pinned the Commendation Disc on his coat lapel amidst the loud applause.

SAIL assists needy patients with help on wheels

Excelsior Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Mar 1: A fully-equipped ambulance purchased by NGO Turning Point Foundation with financial assistance of Rs. 240,000 from Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) for transportation of patients to and from hospitals/ homes/health camps and carrying out other social welfare activities, was flagged off by SAIL Director Personnel Mr. B.B. Singh from Ispat Bhavan here today.

SAIL has earlier provided mobile medical units and ambulances to NGOs such as Deepalaya, Anygraha, Drishtidaan, HelpAge India, etc., as part of its well-defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy with the motto of ‘making a meaningful difference in people’s lives’. Since inception, SAIL has pioneered the cause of providing health facilities to all sections of society. The company has established 54 primary health centres, 12 reproductive & child health centres, 17 hospitals and 7 super-specialty hospitals to provide specialised healthcare to over 30 million people living in the peripheral areas of its plants and units.

To create health awareness to people residing in remote villages of the country, SAIL has been organising strategically-planned health camps in and around its plants and units. Villagers are sensitised on various health issues, and people detected with major ailments are referred to the multi-speciality SAIL hospitals. SAIL bears the entire cost of the patients’ and attendants’ travel, stay and treatment. In recognition of its CSR initiatives, SAIL has received numerous awards, including the Wockhardt Shining Star CSR award, prestigious FICCI Award for Rural and Community Development Initiatives, Businessworld-FICCI-SEDF CSR Award, etc.

`English, Urdu copies of Address different'
It's PoK not PAK, BJP reminds Mehbooba

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: PAK or PoK? A brief debated ensued in the Legislative Assembly today when BJP MLA Ashok Khajuria objected to the use of word PAK by PDP Legislature Party leader Mehbooba Mufti during her speech on Motion of Thanks to Governor's Address.

Mr Khajuria said Ms Mufti has used the term `Pak Azad Kashmir' for PAK. However, Mehbooba as well as other PDP MLAs said she had used the word Pak Administered Kashmir for PAK. Mr Khajuria reminded Ms Mufti that it was the word Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and not PAK.

Speaker Moahmmad Akbar Lone said the word PoK is used in our State. Mr Khajuria charged the NC and PDP with running industry over dead bodies of the people. He said J&K problem is not political but communal. He rejected autonomy and self rule.

BJP Legislature Party leader Prof Chaman Lal Gupta pointed out in the Assembly that the copies of Governor's Address in English and Urdu were different.

Raising the issue, he said the Address copy in Urdu had no mention of Panchayat and Urban Local Bodies elections, which has been mentioned in the copy circulated in English.

Prof Gupta wanted to know which copy of the address should be treated as authentic.

``What should we presume? The Government wants to hold elections or not? The matter should be set right'', he said.

The Speaker said there could have been a mistake and he would ask the Government to clarify the issue.

Inquiry demanded into dismantling of urinal

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: Parade Traders Union (PTU) today demanded enquiry into dismantling of urinal at Sabzi Mandi, Moti Bazaar, which was being used by the shopkeepers of the area.

PTU said that the municipal authorities has allotted the same land to some body without any public auction.

They said that it is very surprising that the Government place, which was used by general public daily, has been dismantled by the authorities and allotted for some considerations to a private party.

They requested DC Jammu to look into the matter and arrange early construction of the dismantled urinal and an enquiry should be initiated in this regard.

Senior citizens meet President

Excelsior correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: Senior citizens from remote area of Khari Bowl, Ramban met the Pratibha Devi Singh Patil, President of India, as part of the "Operation Sadbhavana" tour by the Indian Army, aptly named Ibadat-e-Watan.

While interacting with the senior citizens, the President said that as citizens they should make use of the opportunities being provided to them by the Indian Army, so that they can contribute towards national development and harmony.

She expressed her keen interest to know about their villages, daily life and listened to their experiences during the tour.

The tour was flagged off from Ramban on February 19, and visited Jodhpur, Ajmer and Jaipur before reaching New Delhi.

The senior citizens told the President that they had come out of the State for the first time and interacted with the people from different States and experienced the unique cultural diversity and economics development in the country.

They also thanked the Indian Army for providing them a life time opportunity.

Baig, Mir tiff in Assembly

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: Two political rivals-PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig and Agriculture Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir-today countered each other on the issue of timing allotted by Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone to different parties for speaking on the debate on Motion of Thanks to Governor's Address.

After the Speaker announced the time slot for different political parties, Mr Baig urged the Chair that time counted for the Ministers or ruling parties should be excluded from NC and Congress as they don't speak on the Motion and the Chief Minister gives the reply.

The Speaker said he would consider the suggestion.

Agriculture Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir objected to Mr Baig's remarks saying a Minister could intervene in the debate.

It may be mentioned that Mr Mir had fallen apart from the PDP after Mr Baig was made as Deputy Chief Minister by the PDP during Congress led coalition Government.

CM visits Jagti Township, inspects works

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1 : The Satellite Township at Jagti for Kashmiri Migrants is presently receiving fine tuning for its expected inauguration by the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh during his visit to Jammu.

Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah today visited Jagti near Nagrota and inspected various aspects of the completion of the project.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by Minister for Revenue and Rehabilitation, Raman Bhalla, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Nasir Aslam Wani, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Secretary Revenue Ajaz Iqbal and Commissioner, Relief and Rehabilitation, Vinod Koul.

Jagti Township envisages construction of 4218 two room flats for Kashmiri Migrants besides many facilities in the form of hospitals, schools, community halls, parks, etc.

The project envisages construction of 176 blocks in 6 zones to house 4218 flats. The Jagti Township is the part of the ambitious housing project under PMRP for Kashmiri Pandits for construction of 5242 two room housing units at a cost of Rs. 385 crore.

Under the first phase 1024 flats have been constructed at Purkhoo, Muthi and Nagrota which have already been allotted to the beneficiaries.

Police foils Physiotherapists’ march towards Civil Sectt

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: Police today foiled attempt of Jammu and Kashmir Physiotherapist Association (JKPA) to march towards Civil Secretariat, Jammu.

Hundreds of Physiotherapists assembled in SMGS Hospital and started marching towards Secretariat via Indira Chowk, but were stopped by the police, which resorted to mild cane-charging. Police arrested nearly 70 Physiotherapists including Dr Vimal Singh Manhas, President, JKPA, Jammu, Dr Jagat Singh, president, Haryana Physiotherapist Association, Victor Disuza, National Vice President, All India Students Federation (AISF) from New Delhi, Parvesh Chandil, National Executive Member and All India Youth Federation (AIYF) from Himachal Pradesh.

Talking to Excelsior, Vimal Singh Manhas, President, JKPA, condemned the attitude of the Government towards the Physiotherapists who were marching towards Secretariat for seeking solution to their long pending demands. He said that from the last 99 days we are agitating for the redressel of our demands but the Government has till date done nothing.

He said that in the cane charge Jagat Singh get his right hand fractured where as Dr Sonavar Tak got head injury, Dr Neha Bakshi got her left hand fractured besides injury in her foot and were shifted to GMC Hospital for treatment.

He alleged that the present coalition Government led by Omar Abdullah has no concrete policy to tackle the increasing unemployment issue and added that instead of looking into the demands of Physiotherapists, the Government has subjected them to lathi charge. He said that this shows that Government has nothing to offer to physiotherapists.

He urged the Government to redress their all the issues at the earliest, as they will not defer from the agitational programme till the State Government concedes their demands.

Sources said that all the arrested Physiotherapists were shifted to different police stations of Jammu including City Police Station, Bus Stand Police Station, Pacca Danga Police Station and also the female Physiotherapists arrested during the protest demonstration were shifted to Women cell.

He also said that all the arrested Physiotherapists were released in the evening.

Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) State President Munish Sharma in a meeting of Morcha office bearers including Aseem Gupta, Sanjay Baru, Surinder Choudhary, Raghunandan Singh, Vipin Shastri besides many others condemned the use of force on the agitating Physiotherapists who are also on roads like the State Government employees for redressel of their demands.

Besides this, BJP leaders including State President, Shamsher Singh Manhas, Virender Gupta, National Executive Member and Munish Sharma visited the GMC hospital and inquired about the agitating Physiotherapists admitted in the hospital.

Meanwhile Dhanraj Bargotra, State President, Janata Dal (S), Mast Nath Yogi, Kuldeep Singh, Ram Rattan Sharma and RR Sharma in a meeting condemned the cane charge on Physiotherapists and said that Government should talk to them and build a plan for their absorption in Government departments.

Mohd Yousuf Tarigami, MLA, also visited GMC hospital and inquired about the admitted Physiotherapists who were injured in cane charge. He said that he will take up the issue of manhandling by the police against the agitating Physiotherapists who were marching towards Secretariat for redressel of their demands.

Governor, CM greet people on Mahashivratri

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: Governor, N N Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today extended warm greetings to the people on the auspicious occasion of Mahashivratri, which is celebrated by Kashmiri Pandits as Hairath.

In his message of felicitations, the Governor said that this festival symbolizes the values of piety, devotion, brotherhood and harmony, which are the hallmark of our glorious composite cultural ethos.

The Governor wished the people a happy Mahashivratri and prayed for peace, progress and prosperity in the State.

In his greetings message, the Chief Minister specially referred to the tradition of celebrating Hairath in Kashmir in unity and amity by Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims.

The Chief Minister also highlighted the State's rich traditions of celebrating holidays and festivals in an atmosphere of love and brotherhood, adding colour to the festivity of these occasions.

Omar Abdullah expressed the hope that these traditions and secular fabric of the society would get strengthened day-by-day and the beauty of peace, happiness and bonds of love will keep shining on the State's horizon.

The Chief Minister also prayed for tranquility and prosperity in the State and well being of the people.

7 docs, 12 paramedics found absent

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Mar 1: On the instructions of Chief Minister, a team of officers headed by the Additional Commissioner, Kashmir inspected various health institutions of North Kashmir which include SDH, Sopore, PHC, Chogul, Handwara and District Hospital, Baramulla today at 10:30 am.

In these health institutions, the Additional Commissioner found 19 employees absent from duty which include 7 doctors and 13 Para medical staff. It was given out that 9 employees and one doctor were found absent in SDH Sopore, one doctor and one employee from DH Handwara, 5 employees from DH, Handwara and 2 employees were found absent in DH, Baramulla.

One doctor working in DH Bandipora, Dr. Mushtaq Ahmad Ganai was caught red handed while practising in his private clinic at Scan Centre, Sopore at 10:30 am.

He said that strict action under rules will be initiated against the absentees.

Principal, Professors among several found absent

Excelsior Correspondent

DODA, Mar 1: District Development Commissioner, Doda, Farooq Ahmed Khan today paid a surprise visit to Govt. Degree College Doda where only five out of 21 staffers were found present.

Five professors namely Dr S. P Sharma (Principal), Ashwani Kumar, Dr Aejaz Ahmed, Rajiv Katoch were found absent from duty. Four professors namely Wahid Balwan, Sarita Parihar, Hans Raj and Atter Singh were stated to be on duty out of college but no duty order was produced except in case of Wahid Balwan. Five professors namely Babu Lal, Veerji Kaul, Sania Hamid,Falak and Ram Diyal were on leave sent telephonically. Prof. Ali Akbar was on study leave and Dr Raj Kumar is attached in DDC office Doda.

However, 15 contractual lecturers posted in the college who though had marked their presence on the attendance register, were found physically absent. DDC has initiated action as warranted under rules against the absentees.

CM briefs Governor

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1 : The Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, in an hour long meeting at the Raj Bhawan last evening, briefed the Governor, N. N. Vohra, about the various important matters likely to come up in the Legislature, which went into session yesterday.

The discussions also covered issues relating to internal security management, the establishment of the Accountability, Human Rights, Vigilance and Information Commissions and other important matters.

Agri technocrats' fast unto death continues

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: Agricultural technocrats sitting on fast unto death under the banner of J&K Agricultural Technocrats Association, in support of the demands, continued their protest as a few of them today fell unconscious on the ninth day of their fast unto death and were removed to GMC hospital for treatment.

The technocrat removed to hospital was Dr. Shahid Ahmed Mir of Poonch who was sitting on fast developed kidney pain and was shifted to GMC.

The reports said they had refused to take anything and held that they would break their fast only when the State Government would concede their demands of regularization.

Suresh Sharma, President, People's Democratic Trade Union and Rajinder Singh Manhas, Vice President of Youth PDP visited the dharna site and extended full support to the agitating technocrats. They warned the State Government to concede the demands of the technocrats otherwise they will come on to roads.

Yasir Ahmed Tak, Vice President, JKATA, condemned the lathi charge and illegal detention of protesting technocrats. He said that this type of act can't discourage them as they are determined and will intensify their struggle.

Mohd Yousuf Tarigami, MLA, CPI, along with Sham Kesar visited the dharna site and assured that he will take up the issue with Chief Minister for early redressel of their demands of regularization.

Historic Shiv Khori mela inaugurated

Excelsior Correspondent

RANSOO (REASI), Mar 1: Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Dr. Pawan Kotwal, who is also the Chairman of Shri Shiv Khori Shrine Board (SSKSB) inaugurated 3-day long Shiv Khori mela at village Ransoo, the base camp of Shri Shiv Khori Shrine, here today.The mela is being organized by Shiv Khori Shrine Board and J&K Tourism Department.

Speaking on the occasion, the Divisional Commissioner said that Shiv Khori Shrine is bestowed with serenity and one could experience the spiritual manifestation at the sanctum sanctorum itself. He said that due to the sincere efforts of SSKSB and Tourism Department, pilgrimage to the holy shrine is witnessing enormous increase in the rush of pilgrims after every passing year. Infrastructural facilities are being created at the base camp and enroute the shrine to attract more pilgrims from across the country, he said and hoped that the pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine would gain new heights in near future.

Dr. Kotwal said that the Government has formulated a comprehensive master-plan for the holistic development of Shiv Khori and its adjoining areas for the socio economic transformation of the people. Elaborating on the Master Plan, he said five storied Yatri Niwas at holy cave shrine, Yagyashalla, View points, Darshani deodi have been completed to facilitate the pilgrims besides helicopter service from Katra to Shiv Khori Shrine is under trial.

The Deputy Commissioner Reasi, presented a detailed profile of various development works under execution in the shrine area.

A colourful cultural programme was also presented by the artists of Song and Drama Division, (GoI) which was highly appreciated by the obeisance present.

40,000 un-electrified households
to be provided solar home lights

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1 : Minister for Science and Technology, Animal and Sheep Husbandry, Aga Syed Ruhullah today said that Government has taken up a mega project of providing solar home lights to 40,000 un-electrified households of remote and far-flung areas which include Doda, Reasi, Ramban and Kupwara.

The Minister was addressing an officers meeting of Science and Technology here today.

The Minister further said that by augmentation of solar home lights, the life style of the people living in remote areas would change as it would facilitate students community to study and people would feel relief.

Speaking about the performance of Scientific Council, the Minister said that the department is stepping up the research projects, seminars, Science Congress and debates to encourage promotion of science and research through Universities and other educational institutions.

The Minister issued directions for development of future technologies, solar wind and micro-hydel projects in each district of the State and also directed for organizing publicity awareness camps. He said that proposals for solar townships and water heating system are being sent to Government of India for accord of sanction.

Stressing for speeding up the process of augmentation of various facilities to the people of the State through Science and Technology Department, Syed Ruhullah directed the officers concerned to take their job seriously, maintain discipline and work with zeal and dedication so that the purpose of launching renewable energy programme by Central and State Government is fulfilled in letter and spirit.

3 burglars arrested

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Mar 1: Police arrested three burglars from the Kupwara area and some articles including mobile phones were recovered from them.

A police spokesman said that Kupwara police arrested three burglars and recovered mobiles and other stolen goods from their possession.

The spokesman said that police has solved two burglary cases by arresting three persons namely Showkat Ahmad Gojree son of Sonaullah, Tanveer Ahmad Ganie son of Abdul Majeed and Mohammad Shafi Waza son of Abdul Rashid residents of Nagri-Malpora from the same area.

Three new mobile phones, eight old mobile phones including various other accessories worth Rs. 12000/ were recovered from their possession. Other items including biscuits and oil along with cigarettes worth Rs. 4000 were also recovered from them.

Governor’s initiative against tobacco menace

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: In a major initiative towards curbing the menace of cigarettes and tobacco, Governor NN Vohra has recommended a representation to Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather pertaining to increasing the tax rate on these two items to discourage their use.

Reliable sources said Mr Vohra had received a representation from Jammu and Kashmir Voluntary Health and Development Association, Pandrethan, Srinagar, whose Executive Director and Chairman wrote twice to the Governor suggesting higher tax rate on cigarettes and tobacco in the upcoming budget to discourage their use by the people.

Taking the initiative, the Governor has recommended the representation to Mr Rather hoping that it will be good if the representations are reflected in budget in the interest of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Rather is scheduled to present budget in the Assembly on March 7.

5 SHOs, Incharge PP posted

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: SSP Jammu Basant Rath today ordered postings of four SHOs and one Incharge Police Post in Jammu district.

Inspector Bishnesh Kumar has been posted as SHO RS Pura police station in place of Inspector Gurmeet Singh. Inspector Sunil Sharma has been posted as SHO Domana police station vice Inspector Zahid Wani.

Inspector Jasbir Singh Slathia has been posted as SHO Kanachak police station in place of Inspector Narinder Singh. Inspector Sameer Jeelani has been posted as SHO Satwari vice Bishnesh Kumar.

Sub Inspector Jaleel Kitchloo has been posted as Incharge Narwal police post vice Sameer Jeelani.

Meanwhile, a deputation of prominent citizens of RS Pura today met IGP Jammu Dilbagh Singh and demanded revocation of the order of SHO Gurmeet Singh saying he was doing an excellent job.

They threatened to protest if the order was not rescinded immediately.

Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor in Valley for film shoot

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Mar 1: Bollywood actor and heartthrob of millions Ranbir Kapoor was spotted by some people on the Boulevard road along the banks of world renowned Dal lake here on Tuesday. Ranbir is in Kashmir these days in connection with shooting of his film 'Rockstars'. The film is directed by Imtiyaz Ali and it casts Pakistan actress Nargis as opposite to Ranbir.

The traffic on the Boulevard road had to be stopped for sometime as the Bollywood here took the lead actress on a motorcycle and drove for some distance on this road. The shooting crew was stationed in a house in the Nishat area where they had shoot some shots relating to a typical Kashmiri marriage. Wearing a pheran, Ranbir drove down the Boulevard road and enjoyed the cool breeze coming out of the Dal waters.

Locals could be seen joining the shooting crew and they too rendered their help in making the logistics available for the film. They did not want to miss a chance to see Ranbir son of Rishi Kapoor, Bollywood superstar of 1970s and 1980s.

Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Nehru Park, Muzaffar Ahmad Shah could be seen personally monitoring the movement of the superstars and he ensured that they don't face any problem while carrying out their professional obligations. The people watched the entire proceedings calmly and there was no chaos as well as confusion during the film shoot. However, the personal security of the superstars did not allow the people and more so the select photo journalists to come near them fearing that something untoward may happen.

Ranbir along with the other members of shooting crew reached Kashmir valley and went to the world famous health resort of Pahalgam. At Pahalgam they shot some of the scenes in the famous Betaab valley that got its name and fame after the Sunny Deol starrer 'Betaab'.

After spending some days there, the crew reached Srinagar yesterday and they are going to shoot some scenes in a house located in the Nishat area.

NDMA member visits AIIMS

Excelsior Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Mar 1: Dr. Muzaffar Ahmed, Member - National Disaster Management Authority visited the Department of Hospital Administration, AIIMS today.

He presided over an interactive presentation given by the teams of resident administrators of AIIMS on "A comparative study of Public Sector and Private Sector Hospitals" in the country.

Along With Dr. Shakti Kumar Gupta, Head-Department of Hospital Administration and Medical Superintendent, AIIMS as chairperson, Dr. Muzaffar, who hailed from J&K, interacted with the hospital administrators over various issues and aspects concerning Health System administration as in the country today. The issues deliberated upon had a wide spectrum and covered some of the very emerging areas including role of private hospitals in national health programs, modern systems of logistics and medical supplies management, the ratio of beds that cater to Indian population and strategies that could enable optimal healthcare delivery in the changing psycho-social-economic environment.

The patient of the present day, being aware to a much greater extent than ever before, about his medical conditions and treatment possibilities with easy access to internet tools and information availability, desires quality to the level of his satisfaction. Though it remains a challenge to provide to the masses - a healthcare delivery model that is accessible at the remotest village, that which does not impoverish the patient financially and that which is of an acceptable quality remains the focus of expert consultations and deliberations, he said.

Further to the advance in medical technology and healthcare administration, the onus remains to look for better strategies and a brighter clientele satisfaction as regard modern healthcare delivery is concerned, he added.

FIR lodged against substandard
fertilizers manufacturers: Slathia

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: Minister for Industries Surjit Singh Slathia today said that FIR has been lodged against the manufacturers who are supplying substandard fertilizers in the State.

Replying to a question raised by Congress Member, Bashir Ahmed Magray in the Upper House during Question Hour today, the minister said that strict action would be taken by the Government against the unit holders indulging in mal-practices.

While responding to another question, Slathia said Agriculture department being the licensing authority has the powers to enforce quality of the product. He further disclosed that only two units are registered in Kashmir for manufacturing granulated mixed fertilizers. On being asked that several factories continued to indulge in manufacturing substandard fertilizers despite Crime Branch several times having declared their product as under quality, the minister denied having such information. He said that samples are taken when any complaint comes and action under law is taken.

Mr Slathia while responding to yet another question of Ghulam Qadir Pardesi said that 11 stone crushers were operating in Zewan area of Kashmir and no fresh proposal was there to shift them some where else near foothills. He said they are existing there since long and doing business. Mr Slathia said no stay order on the functioning of the units has been received by the department. The court has imposed stay on the payment of royalty imposed on the units by the Geology and Mining department.

JKFESD organizes awareness cum
training programme on fire fighting at JU

Excelsior correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: Disaster Management Center (DMC), University of Jammu (JU), in collaboration with Jammu and Kashmir Fire and Emergency Services Department (JKFESD) organized second phase of awareness cum training programme on fire fighting for the employees of JU here today.

The programme was attended by a large number of employees of JU.

On the occasion, Prof MA Malik, Director, DMC, inaugurated the programme whereas SC Verma, Divisional Fire Officer, JKFESD was the resource person.

Addressing the employees, Prof Malik emphasized the need of awareness and training in tackling fire disasters. He said need of hour is that every individual should get ready in combating the disasters, both natural andl anthropogenic.

He said that Center has developed an action plan to create awareness in all the institutions in a phased manner and in the campus this will be a regular feature. Malik appreciated the efforts of the JKFESD for its cooperation and said that the department is always at the beck and call of the society.

SC Verma appreciated this initiative of the JU and assured full cooperation in future on behalf of JKFESD in tackling fire disaster and further taught how to act during such deadly disasters.

The JKFESD experts also gave the demonstration of using fire extinguisher in which the employees of the JU participated eagerly.

Gohar Hafeez Fani, Field Liaison Officer, DMC conducted the proceedings of the programme and presented vote of thanks.

Vinay Thussoo, PRO, JU, was also present on the occasion.

Dream Care celebrates second Annual Day

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: Dream Care, a playway school celebrated its 2nd Annual Day in an impressive way, here today.

Prof Chaman Lal Gupta, MLA, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Small kids of the school presented cultural bonanza including dance, songs, fancy dress contests and entertained the spectators with their spellbound performances.

Earlier, Principal Jyoti Chopra, read out the annual reports and stressed that tiny tots are valuable assets of the society and should be nourished in proper way.

Later, the guests distributed prizes among the meritorious students.

CRPF, police being trained to tackle mob

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Mar 1:CRPF personnel along with Jammu and Kashmir Police are undergoing training in handling crowds and mob violence that claimed over 100 lives in the Valley during protests last summer, a senior official said today.

"We are doing training with State Police in handling crowds and how to deal with mobs," Special Director General CRPF (J&K zone), Anirudh Uppal told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

Uppal hoped that there would not be a "repeat of situation which we faced last year".

Asked if some of the killings could have been avoided, he said these were all "academic questions".

"These are all academic questions which I cannot answer because these sort of unfortunate incidents when they take place then each incident is different," the official said.

CRPF and police have been accused of using disproportionate amount of force in response to stone pelting.

"We had these non-lethal weapons last year and we are bringing more of them this year, so that collateral damage is limited and as less as possible," Uppal said.

"What some individuals do may be misguided, or in the heat of the moment they do. I suppose the adults are responsible for their actions. One attempt now is that let boys and girls of the state know that they have lots of choices that they can make," he said. (PTI)

Tragedy averted as beam ‘falls’ from cargo copter

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: A major tragedy was averted today when a beam accidentally fell from a cargo copter near technical airport here.

"It was a close shave for the residents of village Phallian Mandal when one of the beams fell from a cargo copter carrying goods to the Rajouri district," sources said.

As soon as the copter took off from the technical airport this afternoon, it developed some snag following which one of the beams, fell in the fields near village Phallian Mandal, sources added.

On receiving the information, police, army and locals rushed to the spot and started rescue operation.

"The matter is being investigated," sources said.

PSC to take legal action against news paper

Excelsior Correspondent

Jammu, Mar 1: Public Service Commission in its 3rd meeting held under the Chairmanship of S.L. Bhat, Chairman took serious note of various publications by a local daily "Early Times" wherein derogatory news items have been published by the paper to malign the Commission and its Members which has caused tremendous loss to the honour and dignity of the Commission.

The Chairman also apprised the Commission that he had discussions with D. C. Raina, Senior Standing Counsel of the Commission regarding initiation of legal action against the paper.

Commission has resolved that legal proceedings be initiated against the News Paper for publishing defamatory and derogatory news items and the Commission Secretariat will take further action into the matter by providing the necessary inputs to D.C. Raina. K.M. Wani, Member informed the Commission that he intends to initiate legal proceedings against the paper individually also.

NH reopens; movement of trucks restricted

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: Closed late last evening due to landslides, the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was reopened for vehicular traffic this afternoon.

SSP Traffic National Highway, Kifayat Haider said that Border Roads Organization, which is responsible for maintenance of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, cleared the landslides at Khooni Nullah, which blocked the highway late last night, at around 2 pm.

Soon after the restoration of road link between Jammu and Srinagar, all the stranded vehicles including the passenger ones and the load carriers carrying essential commodities to Kashmir valley were cleared, the SSP said.

Later, fresh movement of passenger as well as load carriers was allowed from Jammu, the SSP said. There was smooth movement of vehicles on the highway till late tonight as the weather remained favourable.

To a question, Mr Haider said that if the weather permitted there would be both way movement of passenger vehicles tomorrow. However, the movement of heavy vehicles has been restricted up to March 15.

"Now, there will be one way movement of the heavy vehicles from tomorrow up to March 15 that too during night keeping in view problems at Kunfar Nullah, Digdol and Khooni Nullah", the SSP said.

Shobha Yatra taken out on eve of Maha Shivratri

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: On the eve of Maha Shivratri, a grand procession and rally was organized here by Dharmarth Trust today with great religious fervour and gaiety.

A grand rally was organized by Dharmarth Trust from Parade Ground here, which passed through Ranbireshwar Temple, Shalamar Road, Indira Chowk, Hari Market, Raghunath Bazar, City Chowk, Purani Mandi, Link Road, Jain Bazar, Dhounthali, Chowk Chabutra, Pacca Danga, Moti Bazar and back to Ranbireshwar Temple.

A large number of devotees of Lord Shiva participated in the rally with enthusiasm and religious fervour. A large number of tableux accompanied the Shobha Yatra depicting various aspects of the life Lord Shiva.

The administration had made elaborate arrangements including police for safety and security of the people accompanying the Yatra.

The Shobha Yatra by all means remained a grand success.

Meanwhile in connection with celebrations of Maha Shivratri, a grand Shobha Yatra was taken out at Udhampur town with fervour and enthusiasm, which was organized by Shri Sanatan Dharam Sabha Udhampur, in which various Jhankies formed the main focus of attraction of the people. People from all sects welcomed the Yatra by ensuring the full participation.

USTA deputation calls on Director

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: A deputation of J&K United School Teachers Association (USTA) today met Director School Education, here today.

The delegation led by Hari Singh apprised the Director about the problems being faced by teaching community. They highlighted that masters who have completed their tenure in others district should be transferred to home districts.

The also demanded the removal of pay parity in favour of under graduate teachers appointed between 1992 to 1997 and sanctioning of senior teacher grade.

The Director School Education gave patient hearing and assured the for early redressal of their problems.

Among other present on the occasion were Darshan Lal, Tara Mani, Kamal Lal, Vinod Kumar, Hukam Singh, Prem Nath, Romesh Singh, Om Prakash, Rafiq Ahmed, Naresh Chand and Ashok Kumar.

NSUI holds protest against Govt

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 1: The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) today held protest demonstration against Government against the decision of administration to close the evening shift.

The NSUI activists led by Jagjyot Singh and J P Singh protested at MAM College against the decision taken by the administration to close the evening shift of GGM Science College and MAM College from next session.

They were demanding not to take such decisions as students were suffering to get seats in the city colleges.

They also warned the Government for serious consequences for such decisions.



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