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Corruption is J&K’s biggest problem: Governor

Releases compendium of dev, admin works

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Dec 12: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik said on Wednesday that corruption is the single biggest problem that has retarded economic development in the state.
Addressing the media after releasing a compendium of developmental and administrative works done in the state during Governor’s rule, Malik said: “Corruption is the single biggest problem of the state.
“Those in power here, be it political, administrative or business power, live like Mughal emperor Jahangir.
“The poor youths who go with their ponies to earn a living during the Amarnath Yatra do so without even wearing warm clothes.
“When I said the state’s biggest single problem was corruption, a senior politician said I was bringing a bad name to the state.
“It is in fact the rampart corruption that brings a bad name to the state and it needs to be weeded out.”
Malik said his administration had pro-actively been pursuing an anti-corruption agenda.
“The state vigilance organization has been given more powers by converting it into the state Anti-Corruption Bureau.
“This empowerment has already started showing results. We recently had a Commissioner level bureaucrat in our net.
“More punitive action against corrupt officials is going to be taken in the days to come,” Malik said.
Calling “successful” conduct of civic polls a “landmark achievement”, Governor, Satya Pal Malik, on Wednesday said the bodies would get Rs 1,200 crore and Rs 2,300 crore per annum, respectively.
Announcing the achievements of governor-led administration, Malik said conducting of civic polls was for empowering of people and devolution of power.
He said the elections conducted in a span of three months were “free and fair”.
“Transfer of funds, functions and functionaries to the local bodies has been approved. Sarpanchs will get Rs 2,500 honorarium per head per month, while Panchs will get Rs 1,000,” he said.
“The total funds for civic bodies would be Rs 3,500 crore annually.”
The government has termed the initiatives of the governor as ‘Mission Delivering Development’ and ‘Mission Good Governance’.
For devolution of powers, the government approved Jammu & Kashmir Municipal Laws (Amendment) Bill-2018, he said.
“Mayors/Deputy Mayors of Municipal Corporations and Presidents/Vice-Presidents of Municipal Councils/Municipal Committees elected through secret ballot Amendments made in the Panchayati Raj Act-1989 to devolve powers to Panchayats, ensure participative decision-making functioning and monitoring of 19 Departments devolved to Panchayats. Social audit of government schemes and programs to be conducted by Panchayats,” he announced.
He said bottlenecks have been removed for implementation of Rs 80,000 crore Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP).
“Long pending state level issues have been resolved. Land for two new AIIMS, IIT, IIM have been handed over. Work started on Ring Road Jammu. Land for IIM out-campus identified in Kashmir.”
“Final instalment of Rs 110.74 cr released by the Govt of India under PMDP for upgrading the healthcare infrastructure in JK ensuring full release of the allocation of Rs 900 crore under this sector.”
He said Jammu & Kashmir Infrastructure Development Corporation (JKIDFC) was constituted to raise Rs 8,000 crore for development.
“Major thrust to infrastructure, particularly languishing projects, some of which have waited for over 20 years.”
He said 559 water supply schemes, costing Rs 965 crore approved to ensure assured drinking water supply
“Discussion initiated with Asian Development Bank for $150 million fresh loan for new development projects.”
MoU has been signed between J&K and Punjab government for execution of Shahpur-Kandi Dam Project, he said.
“J&K will also get 20% electricity from Shahpur-Kandi, Thein Dams.”
He said that Ratle Hydroelectric project has been cleared for implementation, which was hanging for over 5 years
He said J&K would get its first-ever Gas Pipeline
He said 175 declarations/notifications involving 8770 Kanals of land for various important developmental projects like roads, bridges, and transmission lines have been issued.
Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Act was amended to further empower the Council, he said.
Funds earmarked for development works Ladakh region to be released through the Councils, the governor announced.
For administrative reforms, he said fact-finding committees have been constituted to go into areas suspected of having transparency issues.
For reformation in recruitments, he said, interviews have been abolished for many posts, as selection would be made only through common merit-based exam
“Selection of 958 Medical Officers was the fastest ever selection process completed by JKPSC in just 42 days. Selection process for 3,700 medicos and paramedical staff for five New Medical Colleges on fast-track basis,” he said.
He said a high-level committee headed by Advisor to Governor has been constituted to address service-related grievances of government employees.

Major initiatives taken by Guv during past five months
* Rs 80000 crores PMDP fast-tracked
* J&K to get first-ever Gas Pipeline
* New Power Corridor to J&K
* New rail link from Baramulla to Kupwara
* J&K Municipal Laws (Amendment) Bill-2018 approved
* Generating Employment – 42211 New Posts Created
* Power to every home
* Housing for All
* Ease of Doing Business
* J&K Trade & Export Policy

 

 

‘No political agenda, aim is development of entire J&K’

Jammu, Dec 12: Governor, Satya Pal Malik, on Wednesday said he does not have any political agenda and was working strictly within the ambit of the constitution.
Interacting with media at a press conference here, Malik said he was not trying to encroach upon the political space in Kashmir.
He was replying to a question about the former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti accusing him of encroaching upon the political space in the state.
Malik said he was in J&K not to make the political parties happy but to accelerate the development of the state and remove “genuine grievances” of the common people.
He said he endeavour was to reach the common people and ensure a “balanced development” of the state’s three regions.
Governor said, “I tried to streamline the issuance of the bona fide resident certificates to permanent residents of J&K but had to shelve the process because of the hue and cry raised by certain political parties. Complaints of inordinate delay in issuance of these certificates had been received from the affected people.”
Malik said corruption in J&K was more than in any other state and tackling the menace was a challenge before him.
Development of the state has been hurdled due to corrupt practices and it was an “opportune time” for the political leadership and bureaucracy to introspect, he said.
“The influential people have become rich whereas the common people have been suffering because of the malice,” he said.
He said that among the major initiatives of his administration towards good governance was the establishment of the first ever Anti-Corruption Bureau, making amendments to make the J&K Vigilance Commission Act 2011 more vibrant and effective and amendment of the Prevention of Corruption Act to provide it more teeth.

Malik was hopeful that a new leadership would be churned out of the Panchayat and municipal elections that have successfully been completed in the state after a gap of several years. These elections were held to empower the people and not to tinker with the Article 35A as was alleged by some political parties.

He regretted that J&K was not being projected in the right perspective by the national media and at times the reports were “distorted” without bringing out the truth.
Bottlenecks have been removed and 1296 development projects languishing for as long as 20 years have been approved for completion with an investment of Rs 2700 crore. Projects worth about Rs 6000 crores will be sanctioned in the next two months.
Malik said that in an effort to introduce transparency, the interview system for recruitment process has been abolished and 1000 doctors have been recruited through the fast-track system within 42 days.
He said that work on building bunkers for residents of areas near the Line of Control (LoC) in the Rajouri and Poonch districts will be taken in hand soon.


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LIVE | JK LS Election Results: Hasnain leading from Anantnag,Farooq leading from Srinagar, Akbar Lone from Baramulla

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Jammu & Kashmir-Srinagar till 12:26

Farooq Abdullah  JKN     73707
Aga Syed Mohsin       PDP  23958
Irfan Raza Ansari  JPC17692

Jammu & Kashmir-Baramulla till 12:24

MOHAMMAD AKBAR LONE         JKN        89932   

 

RAJA AIJAZ ALI  JPC                                     74145       

ENGINEER RASHID           IND                      72720

ABDUL QAYOOM WANI                     JKPDP              39430   

Jammu & Kashmir-Anantnag till 12:22

HASNAIN MASOODI       JKN        26643   

GHULAM AHMAD MIR  INC         22787

MEHBOOBA MUFTI         JKPDP   18474

NC’s Hasnain Masoodi leading from Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency

Farooq Abdullah leading from Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency

Akbar Lone leading from Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency

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Counting of votes today: Candidates wait with bated breath for results in JK

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, May 22: Candidates are on the edge as the countdown for the counting of votes for the six Lok Sabha seats started in Jammu and Kashmir.

At least 104 candidates are in the fray for six-Lok Sabha seats in Jammu and Kashmir for which results would be declared on Thursday.

Ahead of poll results, the candidates of political parties are getting jitters about the results.

 

While many of them are devoting their time in prayers, some of them are on the vacation to beat the election stress.

BJP candidate for Srinagar Lok Sabha seat, Khalid Jehangir has gone to Russia after the elections. “We have been praying for Khalid’s success,” an associate of Khalid, said.

Before the elections, Khalid visited the shrine of the highly revered 14th century Muslim Saint, Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani (RA), also known as Alamdar-e-Kashmir.

National Conference President and party’s candidate for Srinagar, Farooq Abdullah has been regularly visiting Hazratbal shrine for Friday prayers since the poll process began.

“He is very particular for Salah and has been praying for his success. For last several weeks, he has been offering Friday prayers at the Hazratbal shrine and pleading for his success,” a National Conference leader, said.

National Conference, General Secretary, Ali Mohammad Sagar, said, they were hopeful of winning all three seats of Kashmir. “We pray for party’s candidates,” he added.

PDP President and party’s candidate for south Kashmir Parliamentary constituency, Mehbooba Mufti is camping in New Delhi. The low voter turnout in south Kashmir has become a cause of concern for the PDP.

“She may return by Wednesday evening,” PDP Chief Spokesperson Rafi Ahmad Mir, said.

Asked whether Mehbooba would visit her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s grave like she did in 2016 when she emerged winner in by-polls of Anantnag assembly segment, he said, “She is not here. But we are hopeful of her success.”

National Conference candidate for north Kashmir Lok Sabha constituency, Mohammad Akbar Lone has been praying for his success. “I need prayers from one everyone. I will emerge winner. I visit every spiritual place,” Lone said.

National Conference’s candidate for south Kashmir retired High Court judge Justice Hasnian Masoodi said he contested the elections with “sincerity”.

“Everything is at the hands of Allah. I hope by Allah’s grace, will win the elections,” Masoodi added.

Meanwhile, all arrangements have been made for the smooth counting of votes recorded in the Electronic Voting Machines. In Srinagar, the counting would take place at SKICC Srinagar.

The Election Commission of India has set up 10 counting centres including two for Ladakh segment, three for Kashmiri migrants and one each for rest of the five Parliamentary constituencies.

At least 55 special observers have also been deployed for counting of votes. Declaration of final results in Jammu and Kashmir, like other Parliamentary seats across the country, can be slightly delayed this time due to increase in tallying VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trial) slips with Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) from every Assembly segment.

There have been a total number of 75,400 Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballots of Service Voters this time.

Three-tier security at counting centres in Kashmir

Srinagar, May 22: Elaborate security arrangements have been made in Jammu and Kashmir for counting of votes tomorrow for six Lok Sabha seats.

One of the top government officials told KNS that security personnel including central reserve police forces (CRPF) and state police will be deployed tomorrow in all the counting centres for ensuring smooth and violence-free counting. “There will be a three tier security cordon in the vicinity of the counting centers. The first line of security manned by the Security forces will be located almost 100 meters from the concerned counting premises. The second line of security will be around the counting premises and the third line of security personnel will be deployed inside the counting halls. The counting centers will follow three-tier cordoning system,” the official maintained wished not to be named.

Giving details about arrangements being made for counting, official further said that 10 counting centers have been established in the state.

While there will be one counting center each for Baramulla, Anantnag, Srinagar, Jammu and Udhmapur parliamentary seats, two centers have been established for Ladakh segment, one each in Kargil and Leh.

Apart from them, three centers have also been established for counting of migrant votes at Udhampur, Jammu and New Delhi.

They said that 90 counting halls have been set up in these centers. “There will be 896 counting tables in these halls,”

Sources said that no person other than candidates, their election counting agents, public servants on election duty or persons authorized by Election Commission would be permitted to enter counting centers. Counting will be done simultaneously for all the six seats Jammu, Srinagar, Udhampur, Anantnag, Baramullah and Ladakh.

Sources said that to avoid any untoward incidents prohibitory orders under section 144 of Cr. P.C. will be also been enforced at the counting centers.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Shalindera Kumar said, “As per the ECI guidelines, all arrangements have been made for the Counting Day,”

Sources said that the whole process will be monitored by General Observers and each of them will be accompanied by Micro observers.

The outcome of the six Lok Sabha seats is being keenly watched in J&K as it is considered as “semi-final” before the Assembly polls. (KNS)

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Two Hizb militants killed in Kulgam gunfight

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Srinagar, May 22: Two Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants were Wednesday killed in a pre-dawn encounter at Gopalpora area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

The gunfight as per police officials broke out after a cordon and Search Operation was launched in the village following credible inputs about the presence of militants there.

Police said during the search operation, the hiding militants fired on the search party, which was retaliated, thus leading to an encounter.

 

In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. They identified the slain militant as Irfan Manzoor Bhat of Poniwah Kulgam and Zahid Ahmad Mantoo of Ferripora Shopian.

Police said both the slain militants were affiliated with HM.

Police said that incriminating materials including arms and ammunition was recovered from the site of encounter.

Meanwhile, a case has been registered and all these materials have been taken in the case records for the purpose of investigation and to probe their complicity in other cases, police said.

Moreover, police urged people not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. “People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials if any,” police said.

Army soldier killed, 7 others injured in Poonch accidental blast

Poonch, May 22:  Army on Wednesday said that a soldier was killed and seven others sustained minor injuries during training on the Line of Control in Mendhar sector of Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir.

“On 22 May 2019 at 0915 hours, during a training activity on a military post in Mendhar Sector, one soldier was critically injured who later succumbed to his injuries. Two more soldiers who suffered non grevious injuries have been evacuated to the nearest Military Hospital and are stable,” said defence spokesman Lt Col Devender Anand.

The injured was flown in a helicopter to Northern Command’s hospital at Udhampur.

Official sources said soldiers of the Barasingha Battalion of the 12 Madras regiment were on a patrol in Dera Dibsi area along the hilly LoC when the incident occurred around 10.45am.

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