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  Farmers dump govt advisories, choose to grow paddy this year

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Apr 17: Despite advisory by the Irrigation and Flood Control Department (I&FC), the farmers across the valley have decided to grow paddy crop for the year and have already began the process of cultivation.

I&FC Department recently issued an advisory for the majority of the districts including Srinagar, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Kupwara, Pulwama to avoid growing paddy crop considering less precipitation during the winter season in the region.

The department in its circular asked the farmers to replace paddy with other crops that require less water.

 

While the advisory initially created panic among growers, majority of them have now started preparing their land for this crop due to the rainfall since last few weeks.

Framers in Baramulla have started soaking their seeds, which they said will be sown during first week of May.

“We have witnessed less snowfall even in 2015, but it didn’t affect our crop then,”  Ghulam Qadir a farmer from Pattan village in Baramulla district said.

As per Qadir, majority of the farmers have started preparations for growing paddy in their fields.

“We have villages here like Hanjiwera, Buran, Trokolbal, Khor where the farmers are currently ploughing their land for paddy nurseries. We hope that we will receive regular rainfall during the summer season as was seen during 2015,” he said.

The farmers of Kupwara also have decided to ignore the government advisories, who said that they have abundant water resources in their respective areas.

They said the advisories have come for the first time from the government, though such conditions have been witnessed earlier as well.

“Paddy requires regular water supply but such condition were earlier seen as well. Currently, we are receiving rainfall and just few months are left for transplatin this crop. We hope that the conditions are going to be favoubale for the farmers,” Ghulam Hassan a farmer from Kupwara’s Drugmulla area said.

Framers from Ganderbal and Budgam too have decided not to abide by the I&FC guidelines, saying the department had not enough role in providing water supplies for their fields.

“We have to arrange everything of our own during the cultivation season. Even if we sow seeds in a nursery it won’t go waste. Our locality variety of rice is our identity and it can withstand some minor climate problems,” said Naseer Ahmad, a farmer.

Department Agriculture Department has also supported the farmers for experimenting the paddy crop in Kashmir.

Director of the department, Syed Altaf Aijaz Andrabi said that the affected area can be only 50000 hectares out of 1,40,000 hectares in case harsh climatic condition approach.

“The nursery for paddy crop utilises a small portion which is 1/12th of the agriculture land.So even if the paddy seeds are sown there the rest of the land will be free. It will be no harm to the farmers,” he said.

 

 


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Kashmir

Stopping of trucks on Sgr-Jmu highway: Mutton, fruit, vegetable dealers suffer huge losses

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

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Srinagar, Apr 23: The mutton, vegetable and fruit dealers Tuesday claimed that they have suffered losses worth crores due to routine stopping of vehicles carrying these items by the traffic police on Srinagar- Jammu national highway.

The dealers said that trucks carrying livestock and other items are being stopped at various junctions on highway without any reason.

As per the dealers, the practice is prevalent from a long time, resulting in the escalation in the prices of essential commodities including mutton, vegetables and fruits.

 

General Secretary, All Kashmir Mutton Dealers Association (AKMDA), Kashmir, Mehraj-ud-din Ganie said that for the last three months, the truckers ferrying livestock to the valley are facing difficulties while travelling on Jammu-Srinagar national highway.

“For the last almost one week, 150-200 trucks have been stopped at Udhampur’s Jakhani area, resulting in loss to the tune of Rs 1 crore daily to the mutton industry, “he said.

Ganie added that “we have nothing to sell as our stocks are over.”

“We have taken advance from the customers, who require mutton for marriage purpose. We were not able to give consignments to them. If stock didn’t reach at an earliest, we won’t be able to provide consignments for next two days as well, “he said.

President, Jammu and Kashmir Goods Transport Companies Association (JKGTCA), Mohammad Sidiq Ronga admitted that truckers are being stopped for no reason.

“Attempts are being made to shatter our economy. The traffic police are stopping our trucks everyday. Usually trucks carrying goods reach Kashmir from Delhi in 24 hours but now it takes three to four days,”he said.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Traffic, J&K, Alok Kumar said that “landslides at Manki Morh have been causing disruption in the traffic movement.”

“Earlier, we allowed traffic to move towards Kashmir but it resulted in congestion .Once congestion is over, we would allow them to proceed, “he said.

Meanwhile, traders at Fruit Mandi Parimpora are planning to go indefinite strike from Monday 29.

The Mandi comprises more than 300 shops and around 3000 people are directly associated with it for earning their livelihood.

President, New Kashmir fruit Association Parimpora Bashir Ahmad said that they have called an indefinite strike from Monday 29. “Every day our fruit and vegetables- laden vehicles are stopped unnecessarily in Udhampur by police. Fruits have short life and get destroyed due to stopping of our vehicles on highway. We understand that Losses are inflicted deliberately, the president claimed.

He said that though they raised the issue many times with the top authorities but no heed has been paid in this regard. “Now we have decided to shut our business till our problem won’t be resolved,”

He said that they are not satisfied with the assurances given by the government and therefore they have decided to go for strike.

He claimed that due to unnecessary stopping of vehicles, the traders at fruit mandi are losing crores every month. “Deliberately our trucks are being stopped in the Udhampur region. We have seen that when a truck offers money to the police, only then they allow them to move towards Kashmir,” Bashir Ahmad claimed.

He further alleged that even on Sunday when traffic was not allowed on highway, they received several vegetable and fruit- laden trucks from Jammu, and “they told us that they paid money to the police who later allowed them to move”.

Sources said that supply of vegetables and fruits could be hit, triggering a price rise, if the strike begins and continues.

The supply of vegetables, fruits such as onions, Potato, Mangoes, oranges, Grapes, chillies, cauliflower, cabbage and tomatoes is largely dependent on this mandi.

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Kashmir

ECI’s assurances over fool-proof security have fallen flat: Mir

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Srinagar April 23: Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President and party candidate from Anantnag parliamentary constituency, G A Mir Tuesday conveyed his gratitude to voters for participating in polling in Anantnag and hoped that the people of other districts will follow suit with great enthusiasm.

In a statement issued Mir also expressed serious concern over the lack of security arrangements in Anantnag, saying that the fool-proof security as was assured by the ECI were not visible on the ground, describing it as a lack of concern on the part of ECI.

Mir has expressed gratitude to voters for participating in polling in Anantnag, saying that he was pleased to observe that the day has passed incident free, which was matter of enormous pleasure for Congress party.

 

Taking a jibe at ECI for lack of security arrangements in the district during polling, Mir said the required security arrangements were not seen on the ground in the Anantnag. The assurances of ECI with regard to fool-proof security arrangements have fallen flat, which was a matter of serious concern and should not be repeated in coming phases in South Kashmir, he said.

Mir urged upon the ECI to look into the security aspect of south Kashmir and ensure that fool-proof security arrangements are put in place to ensure free, fair and incident free elections, he added.

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Kashmir

Geelani’s son questioned by NIA in funding case

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Apr 23: Nayeem Geelani, son of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, appeared before the National Investigation Agency for questioning in connection with a case related to funding of groups and separatist organisations in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said here.

Nayeem Geelani, who had been evading questioning by the NIA for long, appeared on Monday and a detailed questioning took place on Tuesday.

Geelani’s questioning comes days after the NIA quizzed moderate Hurriyat Conference chief Mirwaiz Umer Farooq in connection with the same case. The NIA probe seeks to identify the chain of players behind the financing of militant activities, stone pelting on security forces, burning down of schools and damaging of government establishments.

 

The case names Hafiz Saeed, the Pakistan-based chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), the front for the banned Lashker-e-Taiba, as an accused. It also names organisations such as the Hurriyat Conference factions led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the Mirwaiz, the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Dukhtaran-e-Millat.

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