Srinagar, Apr 8: Being a prime tourist destination, Jammu and Kashmir still lacks in proper tourism infrastructure, the poor state of which can be gauged from a recent government order here.
Last week, the government ordered installation of mobile toilet points on the 300 kilometre long Srinagar-Jammu highway and on the approach roads to the key tourist destinations in the valley.
“In order to maintain cleanliness and for providing basic amenities to the tourists/public during the upcoming tourist season in the State, it is hereby ordered that mobile toilets/bio toilets shall be installed to cater to the needs of the tourists/public. The toilets so installed shall be made available for use of tourists/public free of cost,” the order reads.
While the step may sound a positive one, it makes one ask a vital question: Where was the government till now?
The highway is the only all-weather road connectivity between Kashmir and the rest of the world. For decades, commuters – tourists, locals and government forces – have been using it for their journeys in and out of the valley.
The government should have thought of providing the basic facility on this vital road years ago.
While states like Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Goa are far ahead in terms of the tourist infrastructure, J&K is now planning to install the toilet points on a road that works like a gateway for the tourists heading to the valley.
The fresh diktat by the government asks Directors of Tourism, Kashmir and Jammu, to install mobile toilets after every 30 km on the highway.
The roads the Directors have been asked to cover include: Jammu City to Banihal along the highway and from Jammu city to Katra town and Pir Ki Gali via Mughal road. Banihal to Srinagar along the National Highway and from Peer Ki Gali to Srinagar.
Besides, major tourist destinations from Srinagar to Sonamarg, Srinagar to Gulmarg and from Srinagar to Pahalgam too are included in the order.
An official in tourism department said that due to the lack of mobile toilets at various spots, tourists relieve themselves off in open places.
Ask Director Tourism, Kashmir Nisar Wani, he says “better late than never.”
“This is a fact that we don’t have adequate infrastructure but we are adding to the facility and we will add more to it at every point in time,” he told The Kashmir Monitor.
Wani said that till now there were “normal washrooms but now they are going to install bio-digester which is suitable for environment as well”.
He said that the cost will be estimated after doing recce on the area and surveying the number of mobile toilets to be installed.
Congress strong enough to counter divisive forces: Mir
Srinagar, July 16: Stating that Congress party will continue to fight against divisive and exploitative forces in the country and state, the J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President G.A. Mir has expressed confidence that people and Congress party in unison will ensure that the forces inimical to multiplicity and rich culture of harmony are defeated miserably.
JKPCC president was addressing series of party meetings at Manzmou, Tangloo, Hiller, Ujroo, Chandoog and Saidiwara in south Kashmir, emphasizing the party leaders and workers to rise to the occasion to defeat the exploitative forces, which are hell bent upon to exploit the people to serve their vested interests.
Describing the Congress Party a formidable force to reckon with, G.A Mir said Congress is capable enough defeat the forces inimical to peace and development in the State, shall continue to fight for the inclusive development of the State, which has received setbacks due to the negligent attitude of BJP Government at Centre.
Mir reiterated Congress party’s stand to maintain secular fabric and communal harmony at all costs and by all means and said the party will ensure defeat of communal and divisive forces, which were pitching the communities against each other in order to divide them on the basis of religion or regions, but the Congress party will defeat them tooth and nail.
“Congress never compromised on people’s urges and aspirations for electoral gains, it will continue to remain committed to fight against the political exploitation by BJP-RSS,” G.A. Mir added and appealed the people not to come under false propaganda of BJP and other opportunist parties, who have exploited them (people) equally for electoral gains.
Er Rasheed asks CB to avoid further delay in investigating Kupwara minor’s killing
Srinagar, July 16: Seeking justice for 8-year-old Umer Farooq who was brutally murdered after being kidnapped from his native village in Gulgam Kupwara last year, AIP president Er Rasheed has appealed for a thorough introspection in the society to get rid of criminal elements.
Speaking on functions at Gulgam organized to pay tributes to Umer Farooq on his first death anniversary, Er Rasheed said. “While it is encouraging that sources within the crime branch claim to have reached very close to the culprits, it is need of the hour to avoid further delay in resolving the mystery. Crime branch must come out with its findings and take the investigation of the barbaric incident to its logical end so that trial in a fast track court is initiated.” Rasheed further added that while entire humanity within and outside state got shocked after the incident but we all need to have a sincere introspection to find out the reasons behind such sick and barbaric mentality that can turn humans worst than the wild beasts.
The society needs an introspection to find out reasons that why it is losing moral values and a huge chunk of youth are becoming drug addicts. Parents, teachers, religious clerics and common masses need to unite and ensure that the entire society is made de-addicted from the menace of drugs, he said.
Non-implementation of ACP has demoralised engineering cadre: Shah Faesal
Srinagar, July 16: Reacting to one day mass casual leave of graduate Engineers, President JKPM Shah Faesal has expressed his solidarity with them and impressed on the state government to fulfill their demands immediately.
“Engineers are the most hard-working people of the State and the brightest of the students would opt for engineering streams. However it is shocking to look at the level of stagnation in the Engineering sector and no serious effort has been made so far to address the career related issues of Engineers,” Shah Faesal said in a statement issued .
“It is a tragedy that even Chief Engineers are working in the pay scale of AEEs and the OPG promotion syndrome has destroyed the Engineering cadre completely. After 30 years of service officers are retiring with the same pension that their fellow employees with one third of their service,” Shah Faesal added.
Shah Faesal lamented that Assured Career Promotion scheme approved by the Government after years of hard work of engineers has not been implemented so far.
He called upon the Government to fulfill its obligations towards engineering cadre immediately and implement the ACP scheme in letter and spirit.
“Engineers are the primary movers and shakers when it comes to developmental activity. A demoralised cadre cannot effectively lead the infrastructure development in the state and therefore Government should immediately take cognizance of the issue,” Shah Faesal argued.