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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

No public transport in late hours; authorities say electric buses in offing

Sakeena Banday

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Srinagar, Jan 22: Authorities have failed to provide inter and intra-district public transport service for the people of Kashmir, especially during the late afternoon and evening hours.

Each working day, commuters can be seen jostling for seats in private cabs here, a limited number of which ply to and fro the districts of Kashmir.
At Jehangir Chowk in Srinagar, people are seen anxiously waiting for a cab in late hours, knowing if they miss one, they may have to wait for hours for another.

A similar situation is also faced by the commuters on various city routes, who complain about the absence of passenger buses and cabs.

 

In addition to the hassle, the passengers pay a much higher fare than they would have had there been any government transport service available.
“After 5 pm, cabs running from Lal Chowk to Nishat are difficult to find and even after waiting for hours at Jehangir Chowk, we hardly find any transport in the evening,” said a resident of Nishat, who travels to the city-centre each day.

The problem, commuters say, aggravates in winters because of lesser daylight.“There is hardly any direct cab service between Lal Chowk and Soura. I travel by bus which moves very slowly, wasting a good hour and a half for the journey that can be completed within 30 minutes,” a resident from Soura said.

Principal Secretary Transport Department, Asgar Hassan Samoon said the government’s plan to run eco-friendly, battery-powered buses will be rolled out in Jammu and Kashmir soon.“It will take some time because we need to set up electric charge-stations. Till then, by the month of March, 50 to 70 city buses should be started (sic),” he said.

Asked about inter-district transport, Samoon said: “We will try to start night services and transport services for long routes as well.”

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JK fully prepared for census of water bodies: Revenue Deptt

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Jammu, Jan 22: Department of Revenue today said that Financial Commissioner (Revenue), who is also Census Commissioner, has initiated all the requisite measures for smooth conduct of 6th Minor Irrigation Census and first census of Water Bodies with the reference year 2017-18.
The census is being conducted in Jammu and Kashmir along with other States by the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
For conducting the census efficiently, field functionaries of Revenue Department viz Tehsildars/ Naib-Tehsildars/ Girdawars/Patwaries/OQs have been imparted training at their respective District Headquarters in all Districts except Leh and Kargil by the Planning Cell in the Office of Financial Commissioner, Revenue.
The schedules along with Guidelines and Instruction Manual have been distributed among the Tehsils. Village directory required by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India has been prepared and sent to the concerned.
“Deputy Commissioners have been authorized as per plan of activities approved by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to procure Mobile Devices for each Tehsil as required for capturing photographs of water bodies, a statement of the Department said.
“A mobile-friendly app/software would be made available by the concerned Ministry.”
All enumerators have been kept in the state of readiness for field operation which shall commence as per the time schedule to be circulated by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India, the statement added.

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DoB of illiterate Casual Workers: Finance Deptt for adopting proper procedure

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Jammu, Jan 22: According to Finance Department, the date of birth (DOB) of illiterate Casual workers/Daily Rated Workers is not determined and recorded correctly and instead, incorrect date of birth has been recorded in the relevant service records of certain employees based on certificates issued by authorities not competent to issue such certificates.
In this context, attention is invited to the provisions of Article 35-AA of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services Regulations, Volume-I, for determination of date of birth of illiterate persons.
In case of illiterate persons extracts from Birth Register duly signed by the concerned Executive Officer of the Municipality, Chairman concerned Notified Area Committee/ Town Area Committee, as the case may be, in case of those persons not falling within the Municipal/Notified Area Committee limits, the certificate should be signed by the concerned Tehsildar where the employee resides who will issue the certificate in the
A certificate, as per Finance department order should be in prescribed format issued by a Medical Board of the respective district where the employee is posted. The Medical Board shall comprise of Chief Medical Officer of the respective district, Radiologist and a Dental Surgeon.
In view of the clear-cut codal provisions, the Certificates issued by the non-designated authorities cannot be entertained for record of date of birth. Any instance, in violation of the laid down procedure needs to be dealt with for appropriate action against officers responsible for recording incorrect date of birth as well as the worker to whom it relates.
According to the order, all the Administrative Secretaries are requested to impress upon the field officers of the Departments to adopt proper procedure for recording of date of birth of such workers.
Any complaint received in this behalf should be thoroughly examined to ensure that no person manages to overstay in the Government service on the basis of incorrect date of birth recorded in service books and also ensure that the date of birth is recorded on the basis of prescribed documents/certificates.

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