JAMMU, MARCH 04: Minister for Horticulture Syed Basharat Ahmed Bukhari today directed the department to initiate immediate works to attain self-sufficiency in quality planting material and for boosting processing, preservation enterprises in the state.
‘For this, a twofold approach needs to be taken, viz., development of departmental nurseries in line with scope of the respective Agro-Climatic Zones under existing schemes for maximizing State’s Horticulture output and facilitating marketing measures of fresh as well as dry produce’.
The Minister said this while chairing a meeting to review the functioning of Horticulture department in both divisions and the functioning of Horticulture Planning and Marketing department in the State.
Minister of State for Horticulture Priya Sethi, Vice Chairperson State Horticulture Development Board Abdul Salam Reshi, Secretary Horticulture Manzoor Ahmad Lone, Director Horticulture Jammu Anuradha Gupta, Director Horticulture Kashmir Mohammad Hussain Mir, Director Horticulture Planning & Marketing Manzoor Ahmad Qadiri, Director Finance Horticulture P.S Rakwal, Director Law Enforcement Susheel Sahni, Managing Director JKHPMC Dr Kabir Dar, Joint Director Horticulture Jammu Tarvinder Singh, Joint Director Horticulture Kashmir Lokesh Kumar Bali, DDs, CHOs, DHOs, SMSs and other district officers from concerned departments were present in the meeting.
Taking detailed review of on-ground performance of the department for Kashmir and Jammu divisions, the Minister said that mandate of the department is to facilitate growers with technical knowledge, machinery, marketing avenues; the performance regarding this has been insufficient on-ground.
‘The Government will take all measures to protect the interests of growers. Therefore, to streamline department’s performance on-ground, hence forth, employees’ career progression will be linked with their annual performance’, the Minister directed.
Bukhari passed strict directions to officers to exercise powers vested to them at their own level. He said that district officers should take onus of their charge and not shy away from their duties. He asked them to desist from passing on matters that can be resolved at their own levels to higher authorities without cause.
He asked the officers to ensure judicious and timely utilization of funds released under various state and centrally sponsored schemes besides providing timely utilization certificates to be forwarded to central agencies for further release of funds.
The Minister set a deadline for 1st week of august for every financial year for submitting utilization certificates to the directorate.
He also directed for departmental nurseries to be setup and developed as ‘Areas of Excellence’ to provide quality fruit sapling to growers for crops including walnut, citrus, litchi in the state. He asked the officers to explore area wise scope for development of the sector throughout the state so that maximum available potential can be tapped.
He also asked the department to prepare a comprehensive report in consultation with SUKAST exploring the scope of olive crops in the state, their components, cost value analysis, processing avenue as well as the required branding and marketing needs for the produce. The report is to be submitted within 15 days, he directed.
Bukhari also directed the officers to undertake periodic quality checks, regular inspections at certified nurseries and Controlled Atmosphere units to ensure that these units are functioning properly and that the growers are being provided with all necessary facilities. He also directed for a mechanism to be devised to take strict action against erring units.
Further, the Minister directed the department to identify necessities at ground level and launch targeted marketing interventions for growers, like setting up fruit mandies for unorganized walnut growers at Banihal, Uri, reviving defunct mandies at doda and other locations.
The Minister asked for renewed measures to promote setting up of low cost preservation units across the state. He said that this will not only facilitate growers by providing them processing units at close distance but also generate quantum of employment. He asked the department to tie up with organizations like EDI, WDC for effective implementation of this initiative on ground.
He also advocated for timely skill development programmes for growers as well as for a holistic training policy for officials and officers of the department.
Taking note of the delays in making two new Pesticide labs fully functional, the Minister directed for immediate manpower augmentation to be taken for the facilities and to be made functional within a fortnight.
He also asked for activities taken up by the law enforcement wing to be regularly updated online, besides the district departmental officers to be intimated on the same for proper enforcement.
During the meeting, the Minister laying stress on the importance of raising awareness among populace, directed for devising a strong public information dispensation mechanism at the earliest. For this, he directed for periodic departmental newsletters, magazines, documentary features to be created and issued to educate the people. Besides, broadcast media outlets need to be roped in and strong ties created, as mediums including television and radio have a massive public outreach, he added.
It was also decided in the meeting that a conference will be conducted with the growers from the state who have undergone training in other states to take their feedback and views. Further, various district officers were also directed to create an updated database of progressive growers so that they can be facilitated with departmental support and interventions.
Inclement weather forecast: DC Srinagar reviews preparedness
SRINAGAR, NOVEMBER 12: In view of the inclement weather forecast predicting snowfall between November 14 and 16 in the district as elsewhere in Kashmir, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary Tuesday convened a meeting with heads of different departments to review their preparedness.
The meeting discussed the plans of concerned departments that have been prepared on the instructions of the DC to prevent interruption in services during future snowfalls in the district.
The DC while hailing their efforts after last week’s unforeseen snowfall in the district asked all the concerned departments to ensure faster and wider dealing with inclement weather situation as forecast and immediate services restorations wherever required.
Concerned departments including Mechanical Engineering Department, Power Development Department, Public Health Engineering, Roads & Buildings, Srinagar Municipal Corporation and Fire & Emergency Department were provided 5 lakh rupees each for acquiring gear to equip their ground staff involved in restoration efforts for dealing with harsh conditions.
The Power department was also provided with 2 crore rupees including 50 lakh rupees for each of its four divisions to procure buffer stock of transformers to handle situations where transformers are damaged. In addition to this 10 lakh rupees including 2.5 lakh for each of its divisions was provided to the department for handling restorations.
The PHE department was also provided an additional 10 lakh rupees to facilitate immediate restoration of damaged infrastructure when required.
The Drainage division of SMC was provided an additional 15 lakh rupees for fuel expenses for operating dewatering pumping stations during exigencies. The Health department was also provided an amount of 5 lakh rupees for procuring fuel for power generators – already provided to several health institutions – required during snowfall-caused power outages.
Fourteen lakh rupees including two lakh rupees each were provided to Tehsildars to provide for their mobility requirements during times of exigencies.
The departments were instructed to equip their staff and activate them immediately. They were asked to project any further demands but were asked to show results.
The DC directed for ensuring that snow clearance machines are positioned at all critical spots and that these must be pressed into service as soon as snow starts to accumulate. He stressed on prioritising snow-clearance from roads leading to all important installations across the district. The R&B was asked to work in close coordination with the SMC as long as the weather situation lasts.
The meeting was informed that both the MED and the SMC are geared up with the former with 23 snowplows and the latter with some 4000 personnel and 22 JCBs including 2 skid-steers at their disposal for snow-clearance on all main roads and pedestrian lanes across Srinagar.
It was also informed that all of 80 dewatering stations and 115 mobile pumping stations in the city are operational and that all concerned personnel have been sensitised. The F&ES department has also kept some of its pool of fire tenders and portable fire pumps available for water-logging exigencies in case there is a need.
Dr Shahid said water-logging as a result of snowfall or rains throws a major challenge in the district and that the concerned departments must be well-prepared to deal with it. He instructed for ensuring quick draining-out of water-logged areas including all interior roads and lanes.
He also instructed the SMC to remove the accumulated snow from roadsides which he said leads to traffic hurdles. He also instructed the Forest department to undertake immediate pruning of trees and lifting fallen trees and broken branches to facilitate road clearance and power restoration efforts.
He directed all the concerned departments to be in a state of preparedness and responsive to any crisis thrown up anywhere in the district.
The meeting was also informed that a central disaster management response store has been established at Bemina with a designated nodal officer to handle its affairs.
Dr Shahid directed for thorough implementation of all instructions and their respective plans in order to ensure timely and coordinated redress of problems and eventualities presented during the inclement weather situation. He directed for ensuring presence of all ground staff and concerned officers right till the end of the weather situation.
He directed for setting up control rooms in all concerned departments instructing them to provide real-time update about status of restorations. He said that a central control room will be set up which will oversee the overall operations ensuring coordination and organisation during eventualities.
The DC said there is a need to put in place a comprehensive mechanism that will ensure prevention of interruption in essential services because of snowfall in the district. He said the process has been started and a mechanism ensuring preparedness at all times and avoidance of services interruption in all circumstances will be put in place soon.
The meeting also took stock of restoration after last week’s snowfall. He directed the concerned for immediate assessment of losses to public properties and crops and for quick processing of compensations as due.
ADCs Srinagar M Hanief Balkhi and Khurshid Shah and senior officers from all line departments attended the meeting. Joint Director Planning Srinagar M Yaseen Lone was also present.
Union Jt Secy Culture terms Kashmiris as ardent readers of good literature
SRINAGAR, NOVEMBER 12: While praising the cultural heritage of Kashmir, Union Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Nirupama Kotru today said that there is no parallel to the heritage of the region.
She said steps needs to be taken to conserve the tangible heritage which includes tombs, old houses, age-old buildings, artifacts in museums, along with non-tangible heritage including music, literature, paintings and others.
The Joint Secretary said this at a book release function held by Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages at the seminar hall of JKAACL, Lal Mandi. The function was held in collaboration with Department of Achieves, Archaeology and Museums.
Secretary J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages Muneer-ul-Islam, Director National Council of Science Museums Samarendra Kumar, Chief Editor (Urdu), J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages M Ashraf Tak were present during the function.
Speaking on the occasion, Kotru said that people of Kashmir are ardent readers and have always loved to read good stuff. She said that Kashmiri folk tales are so rich that people world over read them with great admiration.
Joint Secretary said that the Valley has a rich tradition and culture which is admired world-over. The writers and poets here have expressed their love and emotions so beautifully that their work inspires millions, Kotru said. She said it is important that such literature and art is showcased world over so that the seekers get the requisite benefit from their great work.
Admiring Academy for doing a commendable work, Kotru said the Academy has been at the forefront of doing a commendable job in bringing out journals, high quality translation works and other books in various indigenous languages which include Kashmiri, Gogri, Pahari, Dogri, Urdu, and others, thereby giving a glimpse of art and tradition of the place.
Earlier, the Joint Secretary released various books in different languages and translations including Intangible Heritage of Kashmir(English), Intangible Heritage of Jammu (English), Habba Khatoon (English Translation done by Prof Ghulam Rasool Malik), Tawareek Hassan (English translation done by Prof Shafi Shouq), Aknandon-folk tale told by six authors, Lok-e-Kath- reprinted version of Kashmiri, Kashur-sun-Adab, Kuliyat Azad (reprinted), Kuliyat Mahmood Gami (4th edition reprinted), Nawjawan number (Urdu), Arsh-e-Sehbaie (Urdu), Bulbul Kashmiri (Urdu), Tota Maina (Pahari translation) Hasta Adab (Pahari), Lale-de-Banjrary (Pahari), Gojiri Lok Kahaniyan (Gojri), Mai Azmiyo Sach (Gojri translation of My experiments with truth) and others.
Later, the Union Joint Secretary also visited Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums where she was given a detailed tour of old and new Museum by Muneer-ul-Islam, who is also the Director Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums. Besides, apprising her with various issues related to the department, the director discussed various future plans regarding the department with the Joint Secretary.
Div Com discusses DPR preparation for Srinagar-B’la-Uri four-lane road
Srinagar, Nov 05: Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, today chaired a meeting of concerned officers to discuss the preparation for the formulation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) for development of Srinagar-Baramulla-Uri four-lane road.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, Dr G.N Itoo; Additional Commissioner, Kashmir, TassaduqHussain Mir; ADC Baramulla; Chief Engineer, Beacon; SE (Civil), Commander, 760, BRTF and other concerned officials.
Calling the project a ‘prestigious one’, the Div Com instructed the concerned officers to take all technicalities in account while formulating the DPR. Various bottlenecks and constraints in this regard were also discussed during the meeting.
On the occasion, Div Com directed Chief Engineer, Beacon to explore possibilities of re-alignment of Srinagar-Baramulla-Uri road at four highly built-up spots in consultation with Baramulla District Administration. He also asked the officials to assess the feasibility of construction of bye-pass at Pattan and Baramulla and a flyover at Sangrama.
Div Com directed DC Baramulla to constitute teams for joint survey which will include representatives from the concerned agencies.
DC Baramulla was also directed to conduct weekly review meetings and furnish action taken report to be submitted to Div Com office on weekly basis.
He also directed the concerned officials to ensure that the consultancy engaged for the projects is made available at an earliest. CE Beacon was also asked to place indent of the road before DC Baramulla for the purpose of land acquisition.