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CS calls for concrete action plan to deal with winter vagaries




JAMMU, NOV 06: Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam, today called for devising a concrete action plan in advance by the district administrations to deal with the situation arising due to snowfall and inclement weather conditions during winters so that there is minimum inconvenience to the general public.
“The Action Plan should include requirement of machinery including snow clearance, provision of resources, stocking of essential commodities, setting up of control rooms for advance weather warning, keeping a stock of spare transformers and organising teams of SDRF so that the situation is tackled effectively,” the Chief Secretary said while taking a comprehensive review of the measures initiated by the administration for restoration of essential services in snow-affected areas of the State.
He received detailed update on power supply, road connectivity, drinking water supply, health services and other basic amenities from the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and all the Deputy Commissioners of Kashmir division including Ladakh through Video-Conferencing.
Regarding the massive damage to the fruits and orchards, the Chief Secretary said the State Government will approach the Central Government for deputing a team of officers to the Valley to assess the losses to the agriculture, horticulture and other sectors so that the affected can be considered for compensation over and above the SDRF norms. He directed the concerned authorities to undertake a preliminary survey for assessing the losses to the property and crops and provide immediate relief to the affected according to the SDRF norms as an interim measure. He further said that adequate funds under SDRF are already available with all the Deputy Commissioners and additional funds of Rs. 10 crore each will be placed at the disposal of the respective DCs by the Department of Disaster Management, Releif, Rehabilitation & Reconstruction.
Chief Secretary hailed the proactive response by the Divisional and District Administrations, the Power Development Department, PWD, PHE, Housing & Urban Development Department and other concerned Departments in dealing with the situation post snowfall.
Chief Secretary specifically mentioned that the Governor has complimented the commendable work done by the divisional and district administrations in meeting the challenges posed by the heavy snowfall with grit and alacrity.
Chief Secretary called upon the Divisional Commissioner and all Deputy Commissioners to pay focused attention to fully restore the power supply to the left-out areas and taking appropriate steps for repairing the damaged infrastructure. He also directed for conducting an inquiry, within 3 days, to find out the reasons for collapse of four electric towers of main transmission line which resulted in snapping power supply to some areas.
In order to replace/repair the damaged electric transformers and other necessary infrastructure, the Commissioner/Secretary PDD informed that an amount of Rs 5 crore has been released as an interim measure.
Regarding supply of essential commodities like food-grains, LPG, POL, Kerosene Oil, the Commissioner/Secretary Food, Civil Supplies and Public Distribution was directed to ensure adequate supply of these commodities and maintaining close liaison with the suppliers.
The Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmed Khan while updating the situation informed that power has been restored in most of the affected areas and alternate arrangements are being made in the areas where main distribution towers have been damaged. He said entire administration has been geared and all necessary measures put in place to restore the damaged infrastructure, especially power, road communication, PHE, health services. He said the entire administration is working in a coordinated manner to ensure effective results on ground.


SKUAST issues advisory for farmers


Srinagar, NOV 06: In view of untimely snowfall in the valley, Associate Director Extension (Agri.) today issued an advisory for the farmers of the valley. The farmers have been asked to adhere to the instructions issued by the department.
According to the Advisory, the farmers have been instructed to Drain out excess water from the fields by making drainage channels/furrows, wherever transplanting of seed crops (cole and root crops) has not so far been carried out, it should be done preferably on raised beds as soon as the soil becomes workable, sowing of Garlic can be taken up as soon as the weather improves, transplanting of Onion seedlings for bulb production should be done on raised beds, wherever harvesting of the second crop of potato has not been taken up, it should be done after the weather improves and for protected structures (Greenhouses/polyhouses), remove the snow to avoid damage to the structures.



Entrepreneur duo comes up with ‘Fast Beetle’, valley’s ‘first’ logistics company

Hirra Azmat



Srinagar, Jan 22: In the fast paced world, convenience and ease of access is a mantra that no business can afford to ignore.

In Kashmir too, the customer demands his pound of flesh and businesses have begun to cater to this aspect.

Enter ‘Fast Beetle’, a specialised delivery service that began operations last year and claims to be the first logistics company in the entire valley that provides end-to-end service to the entrepreneurs, specifically women.


Owned by two young entrepreneurs, Sami Ullah and Abid Rashid, the logistics company promises to take on the challenge of fulfilling the promise of timely delivery. They ensure that orders received from many valley based e-commerce websites reach the customer within a day.

After completing his MBA, Sami Ullah, 27, started working with a company called ‘Kashmir Box’. He came across many e-commerce website owners who were facing problems in the delivery of their products. This triggered the idea behind his startup.“What I observed was that the issue was mostly faced by female entrepreneurs. They find difficult to move out from their home every day. So I decided why not set up a delivery service,” recalls Sami Ullah.

Last year in September, Sami Ullah started working on the idea along with his friend Abid, who too has an MBA.
After two months of research, the duo gradually built their network with the local e-commerce websites, soon interacting with over 50 entrepreneurs, mostly women.

“In the first stage, we did the mapping of Instagram pages and accordingly approached them. We started off as delivery boys and would pick up the products ourselves,” recounts Sami Ullah.

The founders started the company with a moderate capital saved from their previous jobs and they worked on a minimum-profit basis.

However, their start-up didn’t progress the way they had planned. The challenges came as the business started to evolve.“As the customers multiplied, the phone calls about the delivery details increased too.

The clients would call us repeatedly to ensure if their product was delivered. The whole process became tedious,” says Sami Ullah.

The duo then developed a software that streamlined the order details including the delivery status.“When the entrepreneurs create an order, the company receives an e-mail automatically through the system. Our admin assigns the delivery boys and then forwards the details of the order.  It provides an end to end protection to our clients,” explains Sami Ullah.

At present, the duo functions from a warehouse in Zaldagar area of old-city.

They have five people working for them.

The company receives over 50-60 orders on an average every day and has, so far, delivered over 4,000 orders.

They now earn double than what their jobs offered and are proud owners of five motorcycles used for the delivery purposes.“Most deliveries that we do are for cosmetics, medicines, clothes, shoes and other grocery items,” says Sami Ullah.

The company charges the client a commission on the total value of the order.

The company has extended its cash on delivery services in Anantnag, Sopore and Baramulla and plans to start a franchise model in every district in the future.

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No public transport in late hours; authorities say electric buses in offing

Sakeena Banday



Srinagar, Jan 22: Authorities have failed to provide inter and intra-district public transport service for the people of Kashmir, especially during the late afternoon and evening hours.

Each working day, commuters can be seen jostling for seats in private cabs here, a limited number of which ply to and fro the districts of Kashmir.
At Jehangir Chowk in Srinagar, people are seen anxiously waiting for a cab in late hours, knowing if they miss one, they may have to wait for hours for another.

A similar situation is also faced by the commuters on various city routes, who complain about the absence of passenger buses and cabs.


In addition to the hassle, the passengers pay a much higher fare than they would have had there been any government transport service available.
“After 5 pm, cabs running from Lal Chowk to Nishat are difficult to find and even after waiting for hours at Jehangir Chowk, we hardly find any transport in the evening,” said a resident of Nishat, who travels to the city-centre each day.

The problem, commuters say, aggravates in winters because of lesser daylight.“There is hardly any direct cab service between Lal Chowk and Soura. I travel by bus which moves very slowly, wasting a good hour and a half for the journey that can be completed within 30 minutes,” a resident from Soura said.

Principal Secretary Transport Department, Asgar Hassan Samoon said the government’s plan to run eco-friendly, battery-powered buses will be rolled out in Jammu and Kashmir soon.“It will take some time because we need to set up electric charge-stations. Till then, by the month of March, 50 to 70 city buses should be started (sic),” he said.

Asked about inter-district transport, Samoon said: “We will try to start night services and transport services for long routes as well.”

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JK fully prepared for census of water bodies: Revenue Deptt



Jammu, Jan 22: Department of Revenue today said that Financial Commissioner (Revenue), who is also Census Commissioner, has initiated all the requisite measures for smooth conduct of 6th Minor Irrigation Census and first census of Water Bodies with the reference year 2017-18.
The census is being conducted in Jammu and Kashmir along with other States by the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
For conducting the census efficiently, field functionaries of Revenue Department viz Tehsildars/ Naib-Tehsildars/ Girdawars/Patwaries/OQs have been imparted training at their respective District Headquarters in all Districts except Leh and Kargil by the Planning Cell in the Office of Financial Commissioner, Revenue.
The schedules along with Guidelines and Instruction Manual have been distributed among the Tehsils. Village directory required by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India has been prepared and sent to the concerned.
“Deputy Commissioners have been authorized as per plan of activities approved by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to procure Mobile Devices for each Tehsil as required for capturing photographs of water bodies, a statement of the Department said.
“A mobile-friendly app/software would be made available by the concerned Ministry.”
All enumerators have been kept in the state of readiness for field operation which shall commence as per the time schedule to be circulated by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India, the statement added.

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January 2019
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