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Governor launches ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’: J&K declared ODF; 1.1 million toilets constructed in 4- years

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Srinagar, Sep 15: Governor, Satya Pal Malik launched the “Swachhata Hi Seva (SHS)” Programme for J&K, a fortnight long program (till 2nd October) for public awareness and involvement of community, in a function held at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre. On this occasion the State was self declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) by the Governor.
Governor congratulated the State Administration for their efforts in making the State 100% Open Defecation Free. He observed that due to sustained efforts of all stakeholders, Jammu and Kashmir has achieved 100 per cent toilet coverage and has become Open Defecation Free (ODF), one year in advance. All the 22 districts, 4,171 Gram Panchayats and 7,565 villages in the state are self- declared ODF as per Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) SBM (G) guidelines.
Governor observed that apart from constructing 1.1 million Individual Household Toilets (IHHLs) and 1350 Community Sanitary Complexes in the state, Swachh bharat Abhiyan has played a vital role in bringing about behavioural change in the people.
Governor emphasised the high importance of cleanliness in ensuring over all well being of our family and community and expressed concern for the women folk who suffer from health ailments due to lack of toilet facilities at our homes. He observed that cleanliness generates a positive frame of mind which is crucial for making us lead a purposeful life. He cited example of Mahatma Gandhi who had a rule in his ‘ashram’ for self cleaning of toilets and noted that all religions and philosophies of the world have emphasised importance of cleanliness and hygiene for the overall health of individuals and societies.
Governor noted that contribution of common people is the main driving force behind achieving such remarkable targets. He hoped that people like Sonam Wangchuk, an education reformist, Cricketer Manzoor Dar, and Singer Sonali Dogra, who are associated with this movement as its Barnd Ambassadors will inspire people to contribute towards making our State clean.
Reiterating his resolve for ensuring all round development of the State, Governor observed that one of the priorities of the Governor’s Administration would be ensuring cleanliness of all the water bodies and lakes, cities, towns and villages of the State and formulating a sustainable solid and liquid waste disposal programme. He noted that his Administration will ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity during festivals and examinations.
Governor expressed his concern over non-availability of avenues to youth for pursuing their hobbies and showcasing their talents. He observed that he is working with IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla on the idea of having an IPL team for J&K and noted that very soon IPL matches will be played in J&K. He also reiterated his commitment for strengthening sports infrastructure in the State with construction of Stadiums in all districts having state of the art facilities.
Governor remarked that the Raj Bhavan is open to everyone whosoever wishes to register his grievances.
Governor released a book on State ODF Declaration- “The Journey – The Milestone”. SBM-G Scheme Anthem sung by Ms. Sonali Dogra was also released on the occasion.
The Deputy Commissioners and District Panchayat Officers of all the districts were felicitated on the occasion.
Sh. Durga Shankar Mishra, Union Secretary Housing and Urban Affairs, Sh. B.B. Vyas, Sh. Khurshid Ahmad Ganai- Advisors to Governor, Sh. BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary, lauded the efforts of the Rural Development Department in achieving the target making the State OFD well before the given timelines.
Ms. Sheetal Nanda, Secretary Rural Development Department presented an overview of SBM-G Scheme and ODF Declaration process. Ms. Indu Kanwal Chib, Mission Director SBM-G, J&K presented a brief about the SHS.
Senior Officers, Officers of Rural Development Department, District Development Commissioners, District Panchayat Officers, Zila Swachh Bharat Preraks, members of UMEED-self help group and RDD field functionaries were present on the occasion.


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Crackdown launched on illegal selling of tobacco products in Srinagar

Crackdown launched on illegal selling of tobacco products in Srinagar

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Srinagar, Jun 25: The Srinagar administration Tuesday launched a city-wide crackdown on illegal sale of cigarettes among other tobacco products holding simultaneous inspections of markets in various areas.

The inspections were held in the wake of growing concerns about increasing prevalence of substance abuse in Srinagar and to verify adherence to the Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products Act or COTPA 2003 which prohibits advertisement of and provides for regulation of trade and commerce in production and distribution of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Large number of stores and vendors situated at different places were found selling cigarettes without the mandatory pictorial warnings on packets thereof. Huge cache of such cigarettes was also seized from various markets during the inspections.

 

Some 50 stores and vendors including those found selling cigarettes among other tobacco products close to schools among other educational institutions in violations of COTPA and violating other provisions thereof were booked with several of them sealed during the inspections.

It is notable that the data suggests that the annual amount spent on tobacco consumption in Srinagar is a staggering Rs 131 crore which is the highest in the State. This among other forms of substance abuse involving both genders is growing into a serious cause of concern in the district.

Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary who has issued strict instructions to concerned officers to crackdown on violators and offenders said violations of COTPA account for serious offences and will be dealt with in the context of public safety.

Dr Shahid assured of sustained efforts to check substance abuse in Srinagar but also urged the general public and parents in particular to do their bit emphasizing their important role therein and to assist the administration in its efforts to curb prevalence thereof.

Last month a district level coordination committee comprising 15 members from different departments and organisations was constituted in the district for the implementation of COTPA.

Different members of the committee have been assigned different roles and responsibilities for ensuring effective and functional application of tobacco control in the district.

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Amit Shah should start process of dialogue with all stakeholders: Sagar

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Srinagar, Jun 25: Ahead of the visit of union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference has hoped that the central government will begin dialogue on Kashmir to restore peace in the state.

National Conference General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar said that Kashmir valley is going through bloodshed, tension and arrests of youth on daily basis which further deteriorate the situation.

“Home ministers visit Kashmir, but this time we hope the visiting home minister will start process of dialogue with all stakeholders here which will help improve the situation,” he said.

 

He said that the daily pensive situation, ongoing bloodshed, and arrests of youth will stop only through initiatives of peace through dialogue.

“We hope the visit of home minister should make difference in Kashmir situation. If the home minister starts any dialogue process to which will improve situation here, we welcome it,” he said.

Expressing the displeasure with the Reservation Bill brought up the home minister, Sage said that NC is against the procedure which was adopted by the central government.

“The procedure adopted by the centre government to bring the bill violation of article 370. We are not against reservation for any particular section of people. We are against the procedure adopted by the government,” he said.

He said that Member Parliament of National Conference Dr Farooq Abdullah will take a stand over the bill in the ongoing session of Parliament.

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Amit Shah should inaugurate a new era of engagement in Kashmir: Faesal

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Srinagar, Jun 25: President J&K Peoples Movement Shah Faesal has said that on his maiden visit to Kashmir as Home Minister, Amit Shah should inaugurate a new age of engagement and reach out to people of the State.

In a statement issued, Shah Faesal said that Central Government led by PM Narendra Modi has an extraordinary opportunity to take bold decisions on Kashmir and bring peace to Valley while taking all stakeholders on board.

He argued for initiation of dialogue process, resumption of Cross LoC trade, freeing of political prisoners who are in jails for minor offenses, among other political initiatives needed at this hour.

 

Shah Faesal also called for immediate implementation of Universal Basic Income scheme for BPL households of the State, age relaxation of UPSC/JEE IIT aspirants from J&K State, improvement of inter-provincial road connectivity and four-laning if Srinagar-Salamabad, Srinagar-Teetwal roads.

JKPM President expressed hope that the Home Minister would facilitate creation of an environment of peace in which developmental activity and will pick up and Tourism potential of the State will be harnessed.

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