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Div Com flags off ambitious project to make Srinagar green

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Srinagar, March 15: The ambitious Green Srinagar Initiative under which two lac tree saplings will be planted and maintained in schools and institutional areas and along avenues across the district was Friday officially launched.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan and Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary flagged off a fleet of 10 dedicated green vehicles as part of the launch from DC Office Srinagar here.
The Divisional Commissioner speaking on the occasion commended the DC for drawing up this most needed and well-thought-out initiative aimed at making Srinagar green in the truest sense involving meaningful and smart plantation and post-plantation maintenance to get the desired results.
The project undertakes to planting 50 thousand Chinar saplings in addition to some 1 lac other tree saplings across the district during the first year. Plants exposed to public or vehicular movements will also be tree-guarded under the project.
Orders for saplings can be made using the Green Srinagar mobile application using which will enable keeping track of orders and ensuring post-plantation maintenance thereof.
Saplings have been made available at seven distribution centres set up at different locations one each in all seven zones of the district. Each distribution centre has been equipped with six workers and a vehicle for processing orders for saplings and undertaking plantation activities in areas falling within their respective zones.
The project also involves plantation in 100 schools identified from across the district with some 200 saplings to be planted in each one of these schools. Green Clubs of 20-30 students created in each of these school will volunteer in plantation exercise in their schools and catchment areas. Their involvement is aimed at eliciting greater community participation in the greening initiative.
Plantation along institutional areas and on roads among other public spaces will be undertaken by the Landscaping division of the Public Works Department. Over a dozen banks and institutions have also associated their organisations with the initiative.
Concerned Tehsildars will monitor plantation and post-plantation maintenance in their areas of jurisdictions to ensure achievement of desired results.
One senior officer from the Agriculture department has been designated as a nodal officer for the project.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Shahid Iqbal said the fleet of dedicated vehicles flagged off on the occasion will reach out to households and institutions for plantation. He said a number of roads have also been finalised for strip plantation under the project.
He also said that a reserve stock of saplings has also been maintained at various locations for supply to institutions and organisations.
Dr Shahid said besides the mobile application the general public can call at phone numbers 7780819894, 6005830787 and 7006166039 to place their requests for plantation adding that order requests can also be emailed at greensrinagar@gmail.com.


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Kashmir

Thousands attend funerals of slain militants in Shopian

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Srinagar, Mar 23: Thousands of people on Saturday attended the funerals of two slain militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in south Kashmir’s Shopian district amid a gun salute and shutdown.
On Friday, Showkat Ahmad Sheikh resident of Harmain Shopian and Yasir Ahmad Shah resident of Arhama Shopian were killed in a gunfight with government forces at Gadapora, Ratnipora area of Shopian district.
Police said the slain militants were affiliated with JeM outfit and were wanted by law for their “complicity in several terror crimes including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities.”
Showkat was involved in “abduction and brutal killing of three police officials Nisar Ahmad Dhobi, Firdous Ahmad Kucchay and Kulwant Singh, all residents of Shopian last year in 2018,” a police spokesman said.
“As per police records, Showkat was also involved in attacks on Police Station Shopian in 2018 in which one police official Saqib Mohi-ud-Din got killed,” the spokesman said.
Showkat was wanted by law for his involvement in several rifle snatching incidents reported across South Kashmir. He was also involved in conspiring and executing many attacks in the area. Several crime cases were registered against him, the spokesman said.
The militant group was also responsible for the killing of woman police official Khusboo Jan recently in Shopian, the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, after conducting all legal formalities, the bodies of the slain were handed over to their respective families for last rites.
Thousands of people assembled in the respective villages of the slain duo to offer their funeral prayers. Eye-witnesses said that a large number of mourners including women staged massive pro-freedom, pro-Islam and anti-India protests.
Two separate militant groups comprising four to five members also appeared in the native villages of the slain militants and offered a gun-salute.

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Day after KM report: EPG visits SP College to ascertain reasons for mass Chinar felling

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Srinagar, Mar 23: Member of Environmental Policy Group (EPG) on Saturday paid a visit to SP College to ascertain the cause behind the chopping of decades old majestic Chinar trees and asked the college authorities for planting of new Chinar trees in the college premises.
They visited the college a day after The Kashmir Monitor reported that administration has allowed uprooting of 17 ‘dry’ Chinar trees at SP College Srinagar.
Environmental Policy Group, Convener, Faiz Bakshi said they carried out an in-depth inspection of the college where Chinars were chopped down and even went through all the official documents which suggested that the college legally started the process of uprooting.
“I told the college authorities that they must initiate plantation drive of Chinars simultaneously as they have enough space in the premises of college,” Bakshi said, adding that they must ensure that the Chinars have dry environmental conditions for the sustenance.
Bakhshi further said that the Chinar trees dry up if their roots are moist, so they need dry conditions to flourish.
Environmental Policy Group is a Kashmir based non-profit organization which works for the environmental issues.
As many as 17 Chinar trees have been partially or entirely chopped off at SP College here during the last 4 days.
The college authorities say all the chinars had “decayed” after 2014 floods and needed to be cut-off.
Professor Khurshid Khan, Principal, SP College said, “The branches of the trees started falling and it posed safety threat to the students and the people around,” he said, adding that to avoid any “unfortunate accident we approached the government for acquiring permission to uproot the Chinars”.

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Two killed as landslide hits vehicle

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Srinagar, Mar 23: Two persons were killed after a vehicle they were travelling in came under a landslide at Piykul Kara in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Reports said late on Friday night a truck (JK02CA-5185) was hit by a landslide at Piykul Kara.
The incident occurred when the vehicle was on its way from Thathri to Gandoh, they said.
In the incident two persons namely Shahzad Hussain and Arif Hussain of Kishtwar died on the spot, they said.
The bodies were recovered and shifted to Primary Health Center (PHC) Thathri for other legal medico formalities, they said.

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