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Dir Tourism directs Shikara wallas for strict compliance of safety measures




SRINAGAR, JULY 10: Department of tourism Kashmir distributed hundreds of the Life Buoy Rescue Tube to the operational shikara wallas in order to provide them safety equipment for any eventuality.
Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah handed over these tubes to the registered shikara wallas who were directed to keep them fixed to their shikaras every time.
The department took this initiative in collaboration with the Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation, which provided the funds for the procurement of the life Buoy Rescue Tubes.
While distributing these tubes, the Director Tourism Kashmir strictly instructed the Shiakra owners to keep them tied to their boats for the safety of the passengers during any incident.
Director Tourism Kashmir said it was imperative for the shikara walls and other boatmen to have life saving safety equipment readily available so that passengers can be rescued during any eventuality.
He said during devastating 2014 floods, it was noticed that there was an acute dearth of such equipment and the recent flood scare also mandated that every shikra owner should have these equipment with them.
“We felt if mandatory to equip shikara wallas with these rescue equipment as at times the weather turns ugly as a result the shikaras can capsize. To address this issue, the department which is registering authority distributed these tubes among all shikara wallas to avoid any mishap and also ensure safety of passengers and tourists who most of the time are not swimmers,” said Shah.
He said in past instances also tourists had to be rescued from such mishaps.
The department distributed the tubes to the Shiakra owners moored at all Ghats at boulevard, Dalgate, at Manasbal and Nigeen Lakes
The department will also be distributing these rescue tubes to more shikara owners at other places in coming days.


NHM employees stage protest, demand regularisation



Srinagar, Jan 21: Employees of National Health Mission (NHM) on Monday staged a protest rally in Bandipora district of north Kashmir, demanding regularisation of their services.

Scores of the employees while shouting anti-governmental slogans held a protest rally from Hospital to mini secretariat Bandipora where they provided a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner.

The protesting employees said that most of employees working in the department have passed half of the age but were not regularised till date. “Govt must take any action to regularise us now,” one of the protesting employee said.


According to the protesting employees, the government had promised them social security benefits but till date, there were no initiatives taken by the government in this regard.

The protesting employees said that government is violating the guidelines of Supreme Court by not paying the equal pay for equal work, adding that people with the same profession in Delhi and Haryana are being benefited fully but their counterparts in valley are not.

The protesters threatened of more protests if their demands are not fulfilled.


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Anantnag’s Kothar residents protest to demand degree college

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani



Srinagar, Jan 21: Scores of residents from Nowgam Kothar village of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday staged a protest to express their dismay over government’s indifference and demanded for the establishment of Women’s Degree College in the area.

The residents including the senior citizens of the area assembled here at press enclave in Srinagar and raised slogans in favour of their demand.

Protesters carrying placards read “we want Degree College” and “we want Justice”.


The proposed college was first promised to the Shangus constituency but was later given to Chattisinghpora.

We were sure that the government would announce the college for their area said the protestors.

“In September 2018, when governor administration announced 40 colleges, we started the process. We completed all the formalities and were sure that college would be allotted,” said a protestor Mushtaq Ahamd.

“Our girls are forced to seek admission far from the home, either in colleges at Anantnag or in Srinagar. It is very hectic for them to travel long distances to reach to their colleges. It is not only expensive, but time consuming as well,” another protestor Bashir Ahmad said.

The protestors said that they would launch a full-fledged agitation to ensure that the government sanctions college in their favour.

“We would hit streets regularly to lodge our protest. We urge authorities to allot the college at an earliest or else be prepared for the consequences,” warned Bashir Mir.

“Any law and order problem arising out of our protests would directly be the responsibility of the government if it does not address our genuine concern immediately,” Mir added.

“We did everything that was required as far as official formalities are concerned. We met Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ganie. Later on we even sent the documents to the governor. We fail to understand as to why the authorities have not allotted the college. All the assurances provided to us proved futile,” the protesting residents said.

The Nowgam Kothar area comprises of 1041 households with no degree college. As per the locals, the said area has all the feasibilities required for the establishment of a college including land. “The college was not still allotted to us rather was given to a less feasible area,” the aggrieved protesters said.

Protestors appealed Governor Satya Pal Malik to look into the matter and fulfil their demand at an earliest.

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PHC Vessu Qazigund awaits shifting to new building for 16 years

Global News Service



Anantnag, Jan 21: The Public Health Centre (PHC) at Vessu Qazigund in south Kashmir district, running from a tin shed, has been waiting for the last sixteen years to get shifted in the newly constructed building, with locals suffering for want of healthcare facility.

There has been a considerable delay in the shifting of PHC Vessu – from the doctors’ quarters to the newly constructed building, the locals rue.

The villagers said they have contributed in “every possible way” to ensure the completion of the construction. “We have even donated a part of our land.”


The construction of this building was completed in 2003, yet since then, the PHC still runs from a tin shed and couple of rooms meant for the residence of doctors. It has not been shifted yet, said Mukhtar Ahmad, a local.

“We were delighted when the government announced the construction of the new building and subsequently started the work”, another resident Basharat Ahmad said. “But even years after the completion of the building, the PHC is still not shifted. What was the fun of spending crores of rupees then?”

The locals said they fail to understand the logic in delaying the shifting of the PHC. They also said that out of the sanctioned strength of 5 doctors, only 3 are working at present. “There is only one staff nurse who also is not available for service. In spite of the availability of dental infrastructure and other equipments, the services are not being carried out,” they said.

Given the scenario, people said they are forced to visit other hospitals for treatment.

Altaf Ahmad, a student, said government only makes tall claims of upgrading healthcare in rural areas, but does nothing on the ground.

He said PHC Vessu “has its long history, from being the First Aid Centre to a dispensary; and then to the level of PHC, it took almost hundred years to reach to this stage”.

“It is unfortunate that due to minor requisition, the PHC is yet to be shifted due to the laxity of government”, he added.

Abdul Razzaq, a senior citizen, said, “The PHC is located near the national highway where accidents are rampant. But this doesn’t serve any purpose.”

“This is the height of apathy on behalf of the health department. Despite our repeated requests no heed has been paid to resolve the issue,” Ghulam Mohideen, Auqaf president told media adding that it was the Auqaf committee that facilitated the acquisition of land for the PHC.

The committee members said that an X-Ray machine was donated for the PHC by an NGO. Also, an electric transformer was issued for the centre.

Mohideen said the new building needs only finishing touches like electrification, water supply and sanitation, “but the health department has shown no intent to take it over”.

When contacted, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Fazil Kochak said the payments in full had been made to the JKPCC which did not complete the work despite repeated reminders.

“We have asked the government to take action in this regard,” the CMO told the media.

Principal Secretary Health and Medical Education, Attal Dulloo told media that the building is under execution since 2004, and the present status is that the main building is complete along with doctors and paramedics quarters.

Asked why the hospital is not made functional, Dulloo said there was a dispute between the J&K Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC) and the J&K Power Development Department (JKPDD) due to which the electricity connection could not be provided.

“Now due to the intervention of DC Kulgam, the matter has been resolved and the hospital shall be shifted within ten days,” he said.

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