Srinagar, Jan 10:In view of recent attacks, the Jammu and Kashmir government has directed security agencies to ensure fool proof security for the Republic day celebrations on 26 January.
Sources said that the government’s home department in its communication has stressed security agencies for maintaining alertness in sensitive areas. “Keeping in view the present security scenario in the state and continues threats from militants, tight security arrangements should be made across the state for the Republic day celebrations,” the communication has said.
One of the top police officials said that security has already been stepped up across the state and checkpoints set up at various localities to keep a tab on any anti-national activity.
“A comprehensive security grid and deployment mechanism for conduct of celebrations would be formulated in the coming days,” the officer said wishing not to be named.
Meanwhile sources said that the Security agencies are strengthening the security in Srinagar city in view of change in venue from Bakshi Stadium to SK Cricket Stadium Sonawar, which falls near heart of Srinagar city.
Officials sai that it is for the first time when main Republic Day celebrations would be held at Srinagar’s cricket ground instead at Bakshi Stadium.
In view of change in venue, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has also directed the police department and other security agencies to ensure “adequate and fool proof security” arrangements in and around the venue.
The official said that venue has been shifted in view of ongoing construction works going at Bakhsi Stadium. “There will fool-proof security arrangements in and around the venue and along the roads leading to the stadium,” he said.
The official said that road from Radio Kashmir to Sonawar road may remain closed for few days before the January 26. “This will be more a challenging job for the security agencies as the venue falls near business hub Lal Chowk. The police department has been directed to make a comprehensive security plan,” the official said.
The DIG Armed has been directed to coordinate the preparation and supervise of the parade. While SSP Security has been directed to ensure “adequate” security on all fronts. Authorities have also decided to stop the entry to ground B after January 15.
“In Srinagar security should be tightened more than before owing to change of venue this time around,” an official privy to the meeting quoting senior officers having said in a recent meeting. The police department has been directed to make a “comprehensive” security plan.
A police official said that security would be strengthened in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk, Rajbagh, Dal Gate, and Sonawar area. “The security agencies will take extra measures this time in view change in venue and recent fidayeen attack on a CRPF camp,” the police official said.
The Director School Education Kashmir has been directed to ensure participation of contingents of educational institutions including private schools in the main function.
Sources said that it has been decided to utilize three Pawan Hans helicopters for flower showing and to keep surveillance on the venue. “Government has also directed for supply of water, power, Medicare, parking, transportation, sanitation, seating, and heating public address system, and fire fighting measures,” sources maintained.
‘170 ADB-funded projects costing 3305 cr completed’
Srinagar, Jul 20: Jammu & Kashmir Economic Reconstruction Agency (JKERA) has completed 170 externally funded infrastructure projects in the State with a cumulative investment of Rs 3305 crore.
This information was given at a high-level meeting chaired by Principal Secretary, Planning, Development & Monitoring Department, Rohit Kansal here this morning to review the progress of externally funded infrastructure projects.
CEO, JKERA, Vikas Kundal briefed the meeting in detail about the physical and financial progress of externally funded infrastructure projects being executed in the State.
The meeting was informed that JKERA began its activities on ground in 2006 starting with the execution of Phase-I of Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded projects under Jammu & Kashmir Multi-Sector Project for Infrastructure Rehabilitation (JKMPIR) to improve the delivery of basic services in the state and help sustain economic growth.
Under JKMPIR, 117 projects were taken up for execution with an investment of Rs 1611 crores. These projects included improvement/upgradation of around 600 KMs road length across the State, construction of 31 bridges, construction of 53 storage reservoirs, redevelopment of 38 tube wells in Jammu, revamping/ rehabilitation of 5 Water Treatment Plants in Srinagar, construction of 95 KMs of storm water drainage network in Jammu/Srinagar cities, construction of 36 Public Toilets at tourist destinations and hospitals in Srinagar/Jammu cities, providing 35 water tankers to Public Health Engineering Department, providing 26 Garbage Carriers, 15 Loaders, 10 Sewer Cleaning equipments, 175 Containers to Srinagar and Jammu Municipal Corporations for transportation of solid waste and development of infrastructure at Achan Landfill site in Srinagar.
In Phase-II, 53 major infrastructure projects funded by ADB under Jammu & Kashmir Urban Sector Development Investment Programme (JKUSDIP) were taken up at a cost of Rs 1694 crores to further strengthen the basic public infrastructure in the twin capital cities of Srinagar and Jammu.
Some of the key projects executed under JKUSDIP include construction of Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh-Barzalla Flyover and TRC Grade Separator in Srinagar and Bikram Chowk flyover in Jammu to decongest the traffic in the twin capital cities.
Under JKUSDIP, JKERA also constructed two mechanized parking facilities in the city centre’s of Srinagar and Jammu to provide maiden vertical parking facility in the busiest commercial hubs of the twin capital cities. Construction of sewerage project was also taken up under JKUSDIP in Jammu.
The component of solid waste management under ADB funded JKMPIR was continued under JKUSDIP. JKERA took up a comprehensive project for converting the Achan landfill site to Scientific Land fill site with the construction of state-of-the-art sanitary cells.
The meeting was informed that identification of projects for Phase-III of the ADB funding to the tune of $150 Million has been completed and process has been initiated for engagement of Project Design and Management Consultancy (PDMC) in JKERA.
While reviewing the progress of Rs 1500 crore, World Bank funded Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project (JTFRP), the meeting was informed that Project Management Unit (PMU) has been able to provide necessary impetus to the project and has awarded works costing more than Rs 500 crores during the past 6 months.
Kashmir journos protest ‘baseless’ ToI report
Srinagar, Jul 20: Scores of Kashmiri journalists Saturday held a silent protest at the Kashmir Press Club premises against the “baseless and misleading” report published in Times of India the other day.
In a joint statement, various scribe associations said that journalists from both national and regional media vociferously condemned the “malicious” report which was based entirely on “fabrication and concoction” on part of Saleem Pandith, the reporter under whose byline the story was published.
“Journalists in unanimous voice said that Pandith has no right to defame credible institutions like the Kashmir Press Club, Kashmir Editors Guild and English daily Kashmir Reader,” the statement read.
The protesting journalists also deplored the act of labeling Kashmiri journalists by Pandith.
“He unfortunately is notorious for disseminating fake news to suit his personal agenda and to avenge his group’s loss in the recently-held elections of KPC,” they said in the statement.
“…Pandith has relied on unsubstantiated claims to malign and endanger the entire journalist fraternity of Kashmir,” they added.
Members from KPC, Kashmir Editors Guild, Kashmir Working Journalists Association, Kashmir Journalists Association, Kashmir Press and Photographers Association and several other organisations demanded strict action against the reporter.
The protestors also demanded that membership of Salim Pandith at KPC “should be cancelled without any delay.”
They, as per the statement, demanded that ToI “must immediately remove the baseless report and publish an unconditional apology for publishing Pandith’s fantasies.”
Fund startups, Adv to Financial institutions
Srinagar, Jul 20: The Advisor to Governor K Skandan Saturday urged financial institutions to give a thought for ‘positive policy’ to fund startups by associating them with innovation ecosystems to guide them in their early stages of business.
The Advisor stated this during a launch ceremony of ‘Smart JK Hackathon’—the first State-level Innovation Competition—at J&K Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), Pampore.
The one-and-a-half-month long innovation competition is aimed to institutionalize a model for harnessing the creativity and technical expertise of students and innovators to an already defined problem statement.
Hackathon is a digital programming competition aimed at identifying new and disruptive technological innovations for solving the challenges faced by the public, businesses and the industry.
Speaking on the occasion, the Advisor said that innovation ecosystems can act as a bridge between financial institutions and startups where these ecosystems provide the accessibility to superior technology, mentors, talent, corporates, customers, and government agencies, investors, etc.
He said that not all startups need investors while some need nurturing mainly during their early months or years, adding by this there can be balance by providing incubators to young firms.