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Govt hopeful of path-breaking tourist inflow in 2019

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Srinagar, DEC 31: Asserting that Gulmarg, a world-famed tourist destination—is offering wide-range of facilities, Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai on Monday urged tourists to visit the State—having diverse tourism products and unmatched beauty.
While kickstarting series of winter sports activities at Gulmarg— including national snow-skating championship, Ganai, said that this winter, Gulmarg is humming with life under a thick blanket of snow as hundreds of tourists have made it their destination for skiing, snow skating, snow-biking, sledge riding, snowboarding, heli-skiing, among other activities.
Ganai, who was flanked by Secretary Tourism, J&K Govt, RigzianSampheal, Director Tourism, Kashmir, Nisar Ahmad Wani, CEO, Gulmarg Development Authority, Muhammad HaniefBalki among other officers, said besides Gulmarg the tourists also have option to visit other beautiful places too. He said that the number of domestic tourists has also gone up and authorities were looking forward to a path-breaking tourist inflow this winter. He said that over eight lakh domestic and 50,000 foreign tourists have visited Kashmir this year so far and the hotel occupancy at Gulmarg is almost 100 per cent for the New Year eve.
He said that tourism and hospitality sector is upbeat as we are targeting to cross over 13 lakh tourist inflow in Kashmir.
“I would like to send across a strong message to the people across the world that they shouldn’t mind the harsh weather, they shouldn’t mind the cold as Kashmir is calling and waiting for their arrival,” Ganai said.   “The tourist arrivals have picked up and more tourists are comings, which is heart-warming for all the tourist stakeholders and service providers.”
He said bookings have also picked up which can be gauged from the fact that the Gulmarg is fully packed for New Year.
On Gulmarg Gondola, Ganai said that the world’s highest cable car is proving to be a boon for tourism. He said that the slopes of Gulmarg offer steep and soft snow, adding that the powder snow and other features of this resort were breathtaking for the adventure tourism and they shouldn’t miss any chance to visit Kashmir region.
Ganai urged hoteliers and tourism stakeholders to slash down hotel tariffs—which often go high during peak seasons in Kashmir.
Ganai said that the government would provide all possible assistance to the tourism stakeholders in their efforts to project Kashmir as the world’s top tourism destination. He urged the service providers and stakeholders to work towards placing famed Kashmir among the world top tourism destinations by the year 2020. Ganai suggested for introducing effective tourist friendly measures to make the stay of the tourists longer in Kashmir. He also stressed on the need to introduce various attractions such as evening cultural shows among other festivals for extending the nightlife.
Ganai on his visit to government-run ski-shop at Gulmarg, reviewed the facilities and directed the officials to provide all possible assistance to the tourists and ski-lovers.
Later, Ganai inaugurated the cultural programme and ‘New Year celebrations, at Gulmarg Golf Club. He said that Gulmarg is not only USP of the State tourism but of the entire country.
In his welcome address, Director, Tourism, Kashmir, Nisar Ahmad Wani said that that the department is making all the facilities in place for the hassle-free travel of the tourists.
“We are developing Gulmarg into a world class skiing destination where intentional competitions will be held for the adventure travelers,” Wani said.
On the occasion, artists including ShafiSopori, Imran Latief enthralled the audience with their performances.
The Advisor was accompanied by Senior Superintendent of Police, Baramulla, Imtiyaz Hussain, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, Farooq Ahmad Baba, Deputy Director, Tourism (Publicity) Riyaz Ahmad Shah, Deputy Director, Tourism (Recreation) Sarfaraz Muhammad.


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Kashmir

Guv admin concerned over slow pace of developmental works

Mudassir Kuloo

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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

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

Bisma Bhat

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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

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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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