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Govt cautions people against having low quality, uncovered dates

Firdous Hassan





By Firdous Hassan

Srinagar, May 22: The Food Safety Department on Tuesday issued an advisory regarding the sale of poor quality, unpacked dates in the valley during Ramadan.

Assistant Food Safety Officer, Srinagar, Hilal Ahmad Mir, told The Kashmir Monitor that their teams toured various markets in the last one week before issuing the order.


“There are possibilities that the unpacked dates can turn unhealthy due to the heat. The advisory will guide the people on checking the quality of dates,” he said.

Mir said the department recovered dates infested by insects and bacteria.

“Often, we see that dates contain spores, larvae and other insects in them. We advise people to consume dates only after checking a few samples of it,” he said.

Mir said the department has also set up a helpline to oversee complaints of unhygienic eatables sold in the market during Ramadan.

In various markets of the valley, a variety of unpacked dates are being sold by the vendors, usually laced with silver foil to attract customers.

Unmindful of the health complications, the vendors keep the dates exposed to weather, dust, and flies.

Sources said that majority of the traders here were selling the dates that are not fresh and stocked for a couple of months.

“These dates are being imported in bulk and kept in stores without any prevention from flies or rodents. Even as a less number of people consume unpacked dates, many who are financially weak do buy them,” they said.

Sources said a huge quantity of these unpacked dates was transported to various markets of the valley.

During the month of Ramadan, the demand for dates in Kashmir is exponentially high as people use them to break their fasts.

Every year, dates worth more than Rs15 crore are consumed in Kashmir. These are imported from many states of India and countries like Pakistan and Gulf.



Guv admin concerned over slow pace of developmental works

Mudassir Kuloo



Srinagar, May 25: Expressing serious concern over the slow pace of developmental works in Jammu and Kashmir, the governor administration has directed the heads of departments to remove the bottlenecks for the execution of the works at the earliest.
Funds worth cores of rupees lapse annually due to its non-utilization in the state.
Despite clear directions for the timely utilization of funds, the developmental works suffer mainly due to the lackadaisical approach of the authorities.
An official document accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveal that the Advisors to Governor, Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary to Finance Department, in a meeting with the administrative secretaries, expressed serious concern over the slow pace of developmental works.
“Principal Secretary expressed concern regarding the pace of expenditure during the first month of current financial, primarily due to the Model Code of Conduct. He emphasized the need to catch up with the lost time,” the document reads.
The Advisors directed all the administrative secretaries and deputy commissioners to point out “issues faced by them” in execution of the works in a time-bound manner.
Chief Secretary directed the deputy commissioners to identify causes of delay in the works in consultation with all the departments and resolve the problems.
“All the Advisors stated that allotment of works on nomination was highly undesirable. Principal Secretary Finance stated that such practice defeats the purpose of actual discovery of price and is against norms and canons of financial propriety, and should be strictly avoided,” the document reads.
Officials also pointed out that the bills are not being furnished on time for the incomplete projects. This was viewed seriously by the senior officers and administrative secretaries were requested to own up these works at the earliest.
Sources said the dismal performance under PMDP was also viewed seriously and departments were advised to identify and remove bottlenecks so that works under the project are executed on time.
Principal Secretary, Finance Department, Arun Kumar Mehta, also wrote to the district development commissioners to furnish the yearly district action plans.
“All district development commissioners shall initiate tendering process immediately after the end of model code of conduct to ensure that process is completed before March 31. The annual maintenance contract should be based on the rate of contract as per laid down rules and regulations,” the order reads.

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Kashmir University: Sunday exams as per schedule, Monday’s postponed

Bisma Bhat



Srinagar, May 25: All Kashmir university examinations to be conducted on Sunday will be held as per the schedule while the examinations scheduled for Monday have been postponed, said an official of university.
“All the examinations scheduled on Sunday will be as per schedule. However, the examinations scheduled on Monday have been postponed and will be held on 29 June now,” Controller Examination, Professor Farooq Mir told The Kashmir Monitor.
“We learnt that due to the internet blockade, students were not able to download their admit cards, so we have rescheduled examinations that were held on Monday,” he said.
Kashmir observed a complete shutdown for two day following the death of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, Chief, Zakir Musa on Friday morning. Authorities had imposed restrictions in various parts of the valley and closed all the educational institution will remain till Sunday.

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Restore administrative seniority as per recruitment rules: DAK to Govt




Srinagar, May 25: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) Saturday welcomed the steps taken by the administrative department of Health and Medical Education (H&ME) department regarding restoration of administrative seniority in health department.
In a statement, DAK spokesperson said the decisions “will instill new energy and confidence among medical officers and consultants.”
“Even though the pace in restoration of administrative seniority is slow, doctors across the state hope that the steps so initiated in last couple of months will be taken to the logical end,” the spokesperson said.
President, DAK, Dr Suhail Naik, as per the spokesperson, said that that the Association has, time and again, demanded the restoration of administrative seniority in health department as per regulations drafted strictly in recruitment rules for appointing such officers.
“In peripheral hospitals it has been observed that it becomes difficult for senior doctors to work under administrative officers, who are junior to them, which leads to indiscipline and unworthy work culture,” Dr Naik was quoted saying by the DAK spokesperson.
The spokesperson said it has been brought into the notice of DAK that some junior doctors “for their vested interests are using their relatives to garner support in front of higher ups so that they can be again re-appointed as administrators in health department.”
“We request the authorities that neither any relative of any doctor nor the general public must influence or interfere in appointing any junior doctor as administrator, this cannot be accepted nor tolerated,” the DAK spokesperson said.
DAK urged Advisor, K Vijay Kumar and Principal Secretary Attal Dullo to further look into the matter and bring some pace in restoration of Administrative Seniority in Health Department as per recruitment rules so that this long pending demand of the doctors is met once for all.

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