Srinagar, Oct 16: Forest fire has emerged as a major problem in Jammu and Kashmir as the fire is not only swallowing green gold, but is also producing a huge amount of smoke, spreading respiratory problems among the local population.
During the current year fire broke out in the upper reaches of Brein and Nishat, spreading to Dachigam National Park and continued till several weeks.
In January, fire broke out in Zabarwan mountain range, which engulfed its 50-60 hectares of the forest.
In 2017, a similar incident continued for two days and damaged a vast area. Similarly, fire also broke out in a forest in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district. The incidents of forests fire have been witnessing a drastic increase across the Valley.In 2016, as many as 71 forest fires have been witnessed in Kashmir, with areas like north and south Kashmir reporting such incidents frequently.
Prior to it, the valley in 2015 had witnessed 49 fire incidents in forests, with north Kashmir reporting 24 of them. “We are losing our forests. It was Sufi Saint, Sheikh-ul-Alam, ‘Ann Posh Tele Yele Wanposh’, which means food is subservient to forests,” an official told early times.
An official report of the forest department reveals the natural causes of forest fires are reported to be less than 5% of the total number of fires caused in a year while 95 percent are manmade that could be prevented by preventive measures by the government and the people alike.
The forests mostly fall in dry temperate class. These forests are predominantly having conifers comprising of Deodar, Kail and Fir. These forests are not normally vulnerable to forest fires as they are predominately having evergreen species and lush green ground cover.
The report has suggested the government to take some measures to prevent the man made forest fires in the state.
“There needs a connectivity by providing wireless sets / cell phones, mobility facilities (some pickup Vans) and proper gear for the staff to save themselves from any injury while extinguishing fires, first aid kits for emergencies and tools for carrying out the fire control operations,” the report reads.
The report, says that for quick detection there should be provision of engaging local fire watchers during the fire season for ground patrolling.
“For quick action sufficient labour force and staff is required to be deployed. Arrangement of tools, food, water and lighting should be there as the process of fire extinguishing sometimes may take days together. The arrangement of transportation of men and material should be available,” it adds.
However, the official of the forest department told that no such measures are being taken by the government.
“The most common cause of forest fire is man-made which can be either because of carelessness or deliberate and intentional. Had government taken some measures such incidents could have been prevented,” he said.
The JK Forest Policy was approved in 2011, its basic objective was conservation of biodiversity and natural habitat through preservation of natural forests with the vast variety of flora and fauna. The recorded forest area is 20230 sq. kms, which constitutes 19.95 % of geographical area of the state.
Inclement Weather: Div Com tours city; inspects ground zero preparations
Srinagar, Jan 19:In the run-up to predicted snowfall, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan Saturday conducted extensive city tour to review on ground the preparations made for snow clearance, availability of essential commodities and other important services.
He toured Jehangir Chowk, Budshah Chowk, Lal Chowk, M.A. Road, Poloview, Dalgate, Sonwar, TRC, Dalgate, Sonwar, TRC, Abdullah Bridge, Raj Bagh, Jawahar Nagar, Solina, Rambagh, Barzullah, New Secretariat Road and other areas to inspect snow clearance from main and interior roads.
SMC and Mechanical Engineering Department (MED) officers informed the Div Com that all the men and machinery have been put on high alert in the capital city and the snow clearance operations were started during the night on war footing basis and all roads were through before the morning.
For quick snow clearance operations, MED has deployed 155 snow clearance machines besides snow cutters across the valley so that snow will be cleared on war footing basis.
Officers of PDD, PHE, CA&FCS, Fire and Emergency and other essential services departments informed the Divisional Commissioner regarding preparations and stocking of essential commodities during the inclement weather across the valley.
Khan directed them to work with utmost dedication and synergy to meet any exigency during winters.
The Divisional Commissioner stressed upon all concerned departments to be prepared and keep their men and machinery in ready mode to tackle any situation arising due to inclement weather conditions and ensure prompt restoration.
Later, the Divisional Commissioner paid a surprise visit to G.B. Pant Hospital Sonwar, Bone & Joint Hospital and other city hospitals and took stock of the Medicare, Sanitation, Heating arrangements and other related facilities available for the patients.
He took a round of wards, laboratory and other diagnostic units and received detailed feedback about the flow of patients, availability of medicines, manpower, status of diagnostic gadgets, sanitation, ambulatory service and other important services.
He also interacted with the visitors, attendants and enquired about the facilities available there.
The Divisional Commissioner called upon all the hospital administrators, doctors and para-medical staff to put in extra efforts to provide best services to the patients.
He said people have high expectations from the doctors and paramedics especially in winter months and they must fulfil these with missionary spirit and medical ethics.
He said that due to the inclement weather conditions, government has made zone and location wise action and management plan across the valley to prevent interruption in services due to the bad weather. Zonal teams from concerned departments have been constituted to meet any exigency during the inclement weather period. Joint control rooms have been set up in every zone which is monitored by main control room at every Deputy Commissioner’s office to review daily operations. Essential Commodities and medicines were already stocked in far flung and cut off areas, he added.
Divisional Commissioner reiterated that administration is fully geared up and prepared to meet any kind of exigency.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Chief Engineers of MED, PDD, PHE, Principal GMC, Commissioner SMC, Joint Director Fire & Emergency Services and other concerned officers the Divisional Commissioner during the visit.
City traffic police issues advisory
Monitor News Bureau
Srinagar, Jan 19:Srinagar city Traffic police on Saturday issued an advisory for motorists in view of heavy snowfall forecast from today, warning that driving on the roads covered with snow could be very challenging.
In the advisory, the police said in view of predictions of heavy snowfall from January 19-25, driving on roads covered with ice and snow could be very challenging.
It said the key to safe driving is to adopt the following tips:
Avoid unnecessary travel. Drive at an appropriate speed. Minimize the use of two wheelers. Follow lane driving. Use brake judiciously not abruptly. Avoid overtaking. Keep distance while driving. Use low beam headlights to be visible to others. Be cautious while on roads. Deflate tyres to keep low pressure for maintaining a good grip on slippery roads.
The traffic advisory also said that due to security reasons the road stretch from Radio Kashmir Chowk up to Ram Munshi Bagh / Gupkar Crossing has been restricted for general vehicular movement till January 25 and there shall be a separate traffic regulation system for January 26 which will be issued in due course of time.
It asked motorists coming from Pantha Chowk and adjacent areas to City Centre to adopt Sonwar- Ram Munshi Bagh-Dalgate-M.A. Road and vice versa.
Motorists coming from Rajbagh and adjacent areas intending to travel towards Pantha Chowk side shall adopt Radio Kashmir Chowk-J&K Bank Corporate Office Crossing-Dalgate-R.M. Bagh-Sonwar up to their destinations, the advisory said.
Motorists coming from South Kashmir/ Pantha Chowk area intending to travel Barzulla/Hyderpora/Rambagh areas are requested to prefer NHW and enter via Natipora/Sanat Nagar.
The police issued following phone numbers for assistance: Traffic Police Office City Srinagar (Tel/Fax) 0194-2455179, Traffic Police Control Room Sgr. (Tel) 0194-2450022, 2485396, WhatsApp No. 8491852218, Toll Free No. 18001807091 and Facebook page:@trafficpolicecitysrinagar.
JK imports genetically modified Trout fish seed from Denmark
Budgam, Jan 19: In a first in India, J&K state imported genetically modified Rainbow Trout Seed from Denmark after 119 years to boost annual production from 500 to 5000 tonnes over next five years.
Principal Secretary Animal, Sheep and Fisheries Department Dr Asghar Hassan Samoon shared the information after inaugurating the hatchery meant for rearing of genetically improved Rainbow Trout Fish today here at Beerwah Budgam.
On the occasion, Dr Samoon said that the seed will be reared up to brood in the facility and then it will be distributed among fish farmers and other hatcheries of the department.
“We can now produce table size fishes of this variety within 12 to 14 months in comparison to 24 months earlier. It will boost the production and revenue of farmers. J&K state is blessed with abundant fresh water resources which is favorable for rainbow trout fish. It is our endeavor to tap the local potential for lessening the import bill of state on food products,” he said.
He added that genetically modified rainbow trout will have more muscle mass and will increase efficiency of aquaculture in the state.
A consignment of 2.25 lakh Eyed Ova Rainbow Trout imported from Billud in Denmark Rever Roheamger were successfully put in for production of brood stock in the state, he said.
He also said that he is hopeful that with the introduction of Rainbow Trout fish, more and more entrepreneurs will get attracted towards the fish farming due to its high returns.
Dr Samoon also directed the officials to create awareness regarding the high returns of fish farming among the youth.
“We will provide the marketing support to the aspiring entrepreneurs, besides providing them subsidy on seed and feed so that they can successfully run fish rearing ventures,” he said.
He also called for proper maintenance of the hatchery which gets constructed at an approximate cost of Rs 42 lakh.
Meanwhile on the occasion, Dr Samoon also distributed three auto rickshaws for fishermen of District Srinagar and Ganderbal for efficient marketing of their fish produce. He also gave Rs one lakh cheque each to two beneficiaries as accidental insurance.
Dr Samoon also laid foundation stone of District Laboratory, Operation Theater cum indoor facility complex at Budgam which would be constructed at a cost of Rs 95 lakh. The facility will cater to existing cattle population of 1, 42000 of the district.
Later in the day, the Principal Secretary also distributed Broiler Day Old Chicks (DOCs) and feed among the beneficiaries of district Bandipora, under Innovative Poultry Productivity Project (IPPP-Broilers), National Livestock Mission 2018-19 here at Directorate of Animal Husbandry Kashmir, Gaw Kadal Srinagar.
Director Animal Husbandry Department Kashmir Dr. M. Y. Chaproo was also present on the occasion.
Under IPPP-Broilers, 600 Broiler DOCs per beneficiary along with requisite feed was distributed among the beneficiaries.
On the occasion, Dr. Asgar Hassan Samoon also released a manual, written in Urdu language, for prevention of scheduled diseases in livestock.
DAK calls LD incident unfortunate, demands impartial probe
Srinagar, Jan 19:Doctors Association Kashmir on Saturday called LD incident unfortunate and appealed the authorities to conduct an impartial probe on fast track basis to ascertain the facts and punish the guilty.
The spokesman said that it is disgusting, unfortunate and pathetic that a pregnant woman who had been referred from Kalaroos Kupwara (150 KM from LD hospital) was denied admission in LD hospital and was asked to leave the hospital at around 8:00 PM and subsequently she delivered on the roadside at Bemina Byepass.
President DAK Dr Suhail Naik said that any referral from the rural health system to medical colleges must be always respected irrespective of medical condition and complication. Sometimes patients are referred to higher setups due to social, emotional and their choice of choosing the place of treatment. It is our professional responsibility that we must consider patient rights, as a basic component of human rights, and support and strengthen them in social terms also.
General Secretary DAK, Dr Owais H Dar said that It is Painful and unfortunate that a patient from Kalaroos Kupwara was asked to leave the hospital at 8:00 pm in harsh winters in the month of Chilikalan. Traditionally our Mosques, Shrines and hospitals are also shelter places for displaced persons.
We request principals of all medical colleges to issue an order wherein any patient who is referred from rural health care system to central hospitals by any specialist should be admitted for at least twenty four hours irrespective of his medical condition.
Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) requests the Governor led administration for the impartial probe to ascertain the facts and circumstances so that that guilty if any may be punished as per the law of the land.