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‘Fully geared’ to meet winter challenges, says Guv admn

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Srinagar, Nov 10: In the wake of the unexpected, intense snowfall in Kashmir division last week, Governor, Satya Pal Malik has issued categorical directions to the administration to extend all possible help to the people. Based on the Governor’s directions and periodic reviews, immediate action was taken on many fronts to provide relief to the people.
The early snowfall of November 3/4 severely disrupted essential services and supplies in Kashmir division including power, water, and road connectivity, besides causing extensive damage/losses to the agriculture/horticulture crops and farm infrastructure across many districts in the Valley. The snowfall occurred at a time when the offices had closed in the summer capital on 26th/27th October, 2018 and were in transition for resuming work in the winter capital on 5th November, 2018.
Governor immediately responded to the crisis and on his instructions, the Advisors and Chief Secretary immediately took stock of the situation and directed the Divisional and District Administrations to work 24×7 to restore the power, water supply & open major and interior roads for smooth flow of traffic.
Governor’s administration was monitoring the situation closely and in greater synergy to ensure that basic services like road connectivity, water supply and power were restored within 72 hours of the snowfall.
Since power supply is crucial to provision of other services, Commissioner/Secretary, PDD was specially rushed to Srinagar to supervise and monitor the power supply restoration efforts personally. While power supply in most parts of Srinagar City and major towns was restored within a day, due to strenuous efforts of the Power Development Department, ably supported by the Divisional and District administrations, 95% power supply was restored within 72 hrs of snowfall notwithstanding the fact that four transmission towers had suffered extensive damage and in fact collapsed. Governor monitored the restoration of various services and supplies personally and obtained regular feedback from the Advisors and the Chief Secretary.
Upon learning that agriculture/horticulture crops in particular apple orchards have suffered extensive damage/losses due to the snowfall, Governor issued immediate instructions to the Administration for maximum possible assistance to the affected farmers. Divisional Commissioner’s, Kashmir and Jammu were asked to have a preliminary survey conducted on immediate basis to assess the extent of damage/loss to the agriculture/horticulture crops/ produce.
Given the extent of damage to the agriculture and horticulture crops and other infrastructure due to snowfall, the Governor’s Administration has declared the snowfall as a State Specific Special Natural Calamity for the purpose of providing additional interim relief/assistance to the affected farmers from SDRF. The relief amount has been enhanced to Rs 36,000/Ha for damage to perennial crops like apple. Earlier, the relief amount given to the farmers was just Rs 6800/Ha as per norms, which is now five times higher at Rs 36,000/Ha.
It is noteworthy to mention that within just 10 days of the snowfall, the process of providing relief to the affected farmers has begun which itself speaks of the speed and the promptness with which the Governor’s Administration is working. As an interim relief measure, each affected District has been provided Rs 10 Crore for the purpose from SDRF. This amount is in addition to the Rs 4 crore already available with each Deputy Commissioner for relief purposes.
Correspondingly, Government of India has been requested to depute a special team to the State for assessing the damage to the Agriculture/Horticulture crops so that the losses beyond the permissible norms under SDRF can be compensated.
For further strengthening the administrative response to future snowfall & inclement weather, Governor’s Administration has approved allocation of Rs 28 Crore for procurement of various machines by the PW(R&B) department. These include (i) Rs 16.50 Crore for procurement of three sophisticated Snow Cutter Machines (ii) Rs 6 Crore for procurement of 15 Snow Plough Machines for snowfall prone districts including 10 districts of Kashmir Valley, Doda/Bhaderwah, Kishtwar, Ramban/Banihal and Leh and Kargil and (iii) Rs 5.50 Crore for procurement of 22 Bulldozers.
The Governor, while complimenting the officers for their efforts in restoring essential services promptly even while offices were shifting to Jammu as part of the Durbar Move, has urged the entire administrative machinery to work with renewed enthusiasm, vigor and redouble their efforts in alleviating sufferings of the people, if any, in particular during the winter months.
As a responsive and accountable administration, it would be the firm resolve of the Governor’s Administration to deal with winter vagaries like snowfall and inclement weather conditions in future in the most effective and appropriate manner to ensure that there is least inconvenience to the general public as far as possible.
Although the Durbar is presently in Jammu, senior Government functionaries including the Advisors, the Chief Secretary and the Administrative Secretaries would be regularly visiting Kashmir to take stock of the situation and attend to the public issues.
The Governor unequivocally assures the people that their welfare will remain in full focus throughout the winter months and will continue to receive the same attention as before.


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Governor dissolves JK assembly

After Mehbooba, Sajad stake claim to form government

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Nov 22: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has dissolved the state assembly as both Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti staked claim to form government in the state.

“The governor, Jammu and Kashmir, Satya Pal Malik has passed an order in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 53 of the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir dissolving the Legislative Assembly,” the order reads.

“By virtue of powers vested upon me in terms of Proclamation No. P-1/18 of 2018 dated 20th June 2018 issued under sub-section (1) of section 92 and in exercise of the powers conferred upon me by clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 53 of the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, I hereby dissolve the Legislative assembly,” said an order issued by the governor.

Soon after assembly was dissolved Omar Abdullah took to Twitter and wrote, “JKNC has been pressing for assembly dissolution for 5 months now. It can’t be a coincidence that within minutes of Mehbooba Mufti Sahiba letter staking claim the order to dissolve the assembly suddenly appears.”

Earlier, Sajad Lone claimed he has the support of 26 BJP legislators and 18 others, which would cross the majority mark of 44, Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti says she has the support of the Congress and the National Conference, taking their collective total to 56.

“As you are aware that Peoples Democratic Party is the largest party in the State assembly having a strength of 29. You might have gathered from the media reports that the Congress and National Conference has a strength of 15 and the Congress 12. That takes over collective strength to 56,” her letter reads.

Earlier, Congress, People’s Democratic Party, and National Conference have “agreed” to form the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir to “protect” the special status of the state.

Senior PDP leader, Altaf Bukhari, after meeting the NC leader Omar Abdullah, told the reporters that three parties have agreed to form the coalition government in the state in the interest of the state.

“Article 370 is our identity. We need to safeguard it. It is the constitution of India that grants special status to the state. We have been doing everything possible to defend it,” he said.

Bukhari said, “By Thursday, people of the state would receive good news with regard to government formation.”

“Keeping in view the political situation and the aspirations of the people, we have joined hands. Around 60 MLAs have come together. It is good that an elected government would be in place to run the affairs,” he said.

He said the “communal forces” have so far not been able to make entry into the state.

“We need to keep them away,” he said.

He, however, said he was not aware of the contours of the alliance.

“We have agreed to form the government to respond to the situation. Serious discussion is going on between the leaders of three parties,” Bukhari said.

Asked who would be the chief minister, he replied, “He will be from among the leaders”.

Meanwhile, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad confirmed that talks were going on among the three parties over government formation in the state.

“We (NC, Congress, PDP) thought why not to unite and form a government together. Talks are going on, but as of now it is only a suggestion…We haven’t reached that stage yet where we can form the government,” said Azad, responding to queries on potential Congress-PDP-NC alliance.

Senior National Conference leader, Nasir Aslam Wani said a “thought process” was going on between the mainstream parties. “Beyond that nothing has come so far,” Wani said.

He said if Government of India can wish to talk to Pakistan and Hurriyat, there was nothing wrong between the mainstream parties to talk to each other.

State Congress Chief, G A Mir, said there was nothing wrong in talks between the mainstream parties.

“So far there are no formal talks. When the formal meetings are held only then decisions will be taken,” Mir said, adding he was going to New Delhi for a party meeting.

He, however, has been quoted by a local news agency saying they have “sixty member team and…will see whether the governor can dissolve the House undemocratically”.

“All secular parties have come together for the bigger interest of state and public. For saving constitution may it be Article 370 and 35A, we have to rise above party lines especially when eminent dangers are bigger,” Mir said.

 

 

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Assembly dissolution onslaught on democratic institutions: NC, Cong

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar: Shocked over the Governor’s decision to dissolve State Legislative Assembly, the political parties who were desiring for entering into alliance for government formation, termed the entire move as “onslaught on democratic institutions”.

Two state based prime political parties NC and PDP along with Congress on Wednesday claimed of holding talks with each other to enter into alliance for form government five months after Governor’s rule was imposed in the state.

However, later the Governor Satya Pal Malik Wednesday evening dissolved state Assembly ‘under the relevant provisions in Jammu and Kashmir constitution.’

 States Congress president G A Mir said that they were already expecting the “undemocratic move by the BJP led government at Centre.”

“We already told our members that BJP can take this step to sabotage our efforts.  It was first time the secular front has joined hands. The New Delhi had just one option which they utlised,” he said.

Mir claimed the Centre has “lost a bigger opportunity to restore normalcy in the state.”

“Our members even also knew that we won’t be allowed to enter Raj Bhawan. We demanded time from them but New Delhi pressed the Governor and dissolved Legislative Assembly,” he said.

“We have kept our political differences aside as all the poles including north, central and south joined hands this time,” Mir said.

National Conference (NC) seemed equally enraged over the Governor’s decision to dissolve the Legislative Assembly.

“It is very sad and total onslaught on democratic institutions. When stake was claimed and we formally declared our unconditional support for government formation, the strange tactic from BJP followed, ” NC’s Provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani told The Kashmir Monitor.

“We preferred to stay away from any berth for the benefit of people of Kashmir,” he added.

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In 8-yrs, JK loses Rs 100 cr ICPS funds

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Nov 21: Jammu and Kashmir has lost over Rs 100 crore centre funds for non-implementation of Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) in eight years.

The ICPS, a centrally-sponsored programme for child protection, was implemented across the country in 2009. However, Jammu and Kashmir did not implement it till 2017.

During these years, an official of ICPS said, JK lost around Rs 100 crore.

The government of India has spent Rs 2,141.50 crore under ICPS between 2009 to December 2016.

“Jammu and Kashmir was not allotted any funds till 2014,” the official said.

Although the scheme has now been implemented in the state, it is still in infancy.

“The state received only Rs 1.56 crore–the lowest to any state–during 2015 and 2016. Due to non-implementation of the scheme over these years, the state’s annual allocation has been reduced to less than Rs one crore,” the official said.

It has main office housed in a rented building at Barazulla here.

It still lacks required manpower and infrastructure.

“Although it has been rolled out on papers, a lot has to be done for its implementation. We need the adequate staff and infrastructure,” the official said.

It took the state eight years to roll out the scheme, despite the state having highest percentage of orphans.

Earlier, Union Minister for women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, had said that no proposal had been received from Jammu and Kashmir for the release of grants under the ICPS.

Later, the then-joint secretary in the ministry Vivek Joshi also wrote to the state government asking that the requirements for the ICPS implementation be fulfilled.

The scheme was aimed at protection of children from abuse and exploitation and for their holistic growth and development.

It was also introduced to address gaps in existing initiatives and putting in place a safety net of exclusive structures, services and trained personnel for the protection of children in difficult circumstances.

Under the scheme, every district will have a juvenile justice board and child protection committee for counselling and taking care of the children who are in conflict with the law or living in difficult

Former high court judge Justice Hasnain Masoodi, who is chairman for its selection/oversight committee, admitted a huge funds have been lapsed over the years. “Now, the process has been initiated for its proper implementation. There are so many welfare schemes, which are not been implemented on the ground. Even administrators are not providing funds for the schemes,” he said.

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