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Govt to develop network of STPs to save water bodies

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JAMMU, DEC 05: As a long-term strategy to for conservation of prominent water bodies in the State, including Dal Lake, Jhelum, Chenab and Tawi rivers from pollution hazards, and for the restoration of pristine glory of twin capital cities viz; Jammu and Srinagar, the Government will develop Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) of adequate capacities. Such STPs will also be developed in all major towns and prominent tourist resorts across the State.
Besides, Government will also develop more multitier ultra-modern parking lots in two capital cities and Katra town in order to ensure efficient traffic management. Presently these cities are witnessing huge quantum of traffic flow from within and outside the State, and there is great need for more such facilities to coup with the prevailing situation.
These decisions were taken during the pre-budget consultation meetings of the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Tourism, Culture, PWD (R&B), Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs chaired by Principal Secretary Finance, Navin K Choudhary here today.
To immediately start with the exercise for these projects, the necessary token money was earmarked for the current financial year and rest will be projected in the next year’s budget.
Financial Commissioner, Housing & Urban Development, K.B. Agarwal, Commissioner/Secretary R&B, Khurshid Ahmed Shah, Commissioner/Secretary FCS&CA, Dr Abdul Rashid, Commissioner Secretary Culture, Mohammad Saleem Shishgar along with their team of officers attended the meetings.
While initiating marathon deliberations on the budget proposals of the Housing & Urban Development Department for the next financial year, the Principal Secretary called for prioritizing the above projects and immediately starting work on these physically. He called for submitting viable projects for up-gradation of civic facilities, street lights, lanes and drains and other important facilities for the people. He asked for tangible proposals for the beautification of Jammu and Srinagar cities in view of their importance and stressed the need for effective steps to check that no drainage water flows to the main water bodies which pollute the entire environment of these cities.
In order to address the problem of accommodation for the government departments, the Principal Secretary urged the VCs, JDA and SDA to identify suitable land at some prominent locations to construct multi-storey accommodation to house maximum number of government offices. He also called for judicious use of land and resources.
During the discussions of Tourism and Culture, the Principal Secretary emphasized the need for strengthening the existing infrastructural facilities for the tourists in all prominent tourist destinations to increase the footfall of domestic as well as foreign tourists. He also asked for identification of unexplored tourist destinations, heritage places in all three regions of the State so that these are brought at the tourist map. He said tourism is foremost identity and mainstay of State’s economy and every possible effort must be made for its promotion.
He called upon the Tourism Secretary to workout prospective proposals for the development of this vital sector and asked for evolving new concepts for the promotion of tourism worldwide and launching a massive publicity campaign in the potential States. He also suggested to bring out some credible tourism publicity material in the form of pamphlets, booklets highlighting the significance of various tourist destinations and facilities across the State and arranging their distribution at centres of attraction like airports, railway stations, inter-state bus stands and prominent tourist locations in other States to attract tourists towards Jammu and Kashmir. He also called for promoting adventure, religious, heritage and eco-tourism for which there is great potential in the State. He laid stress on strict adherence of environment norms while undertaking new ventures, adding that degradation of environment and ecology is the cause of concern for everyone and it must be protected at all costs.
The budget proposals of PWD (R&B), Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs were also discussed threadbare and concerned Administrative Secretaries presented their view points on the futuristic requirements to run the affairs of their respective departments.
Issuing common instructions to all departments for curtailing the unfruitful expenditures under various heads, Navin called for generating own revenue for meeting their internal expenditures. He suggested for imposing minor charges on various kinds of services being rendered by the departments.


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Kashmir

Coming up of new parties, alliances dangerous for Kashmir: Experts

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Srinagar, Jun 19: The coming up of new political parties and alliances ahead of assembly polls can be dangerous for Kashmir as it will lead to the fractured mandate, thereby favouring BJP, experts claim.

On Tuesday former bureaucrat Shah Faesal and independent legislator from Langate Er Abdul Rasheed announced “Peoples United Front” for upcoming assembly polls.

Political pundits, however, believe that the fractured mandate led by such alliances in the upcoming assembly polls was aimed to divide Kashmiris.

 

“It is a very dangerous approach and Kashmiris should not allow the fractured mandate. Those who care about Kashmir should support one party of unit instead of paving way for fractured mandate due to these alliances,” said noted academician and an expert in politics, Sidiq Wahid.

The formation of new political alliances, he said, was a “policy of Government of India for a decade to divide Kashmiris.”

 “I really feel that this new so-called alliance that has been formed is mudding the waters,” Wahid said.

Another expert in politics, Prof Gul Mohammad Wani, said the suspicions and doubts among people will intensify when centres rule is extends its rule to the state.

“Even after holding Panchayat, Municipal election or parliamentary polls either, the government doesn’t seem to be in a mood to hold assembly election in the state as of now,” he said.

Wani however said the emergence of new alliances could be due to failures by the political parties “to allow internal democracy in the state.”

“Mostly leaders or new groups emerge or come out of the existing political parties under such circumstances,” he said.

Wani said that the existing political parties including NC, PDP and Congress require increasing ideological and political space to build credible leadership.

Soon after the formation of new PUF, former chief minister and National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah said the alliance was aimed to divide voters in Kashmir.

He questioned about lack of such alliances in Jammu or Ladakh regions of the state. 

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Srinagar, Sonawari, Awantipora prone to floods: Study

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Srinagar, June 19: Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed abrupt changes in climate over the years. According to a disaster management report, 13 districts in J&K, out of 100 districts in India, have been identified as ‘multi-hazard districts’.

“Majority areas of the valley, especially Sonawari, Awantipora and Srinagar, along with parts of Jammu are prone to floods. Upper catchments of all the tributaries of the Jhelum, Indus, Chenab and Tawi rivers are prone to flash floods,” the report said. All these areas were worst hit by September-2014 floods and are prone to floods.

While the recent study says that out of the 12 states, Assam, Mizoram and Jammu & Kashmir are extremely vulnerable to global warming.

 

“Based on this assessment, the vulnerability index is found to be the highest for Assam (0.72) and Mizoram (0.71), followed by Jammu and Kashmir (0.62), Manipur (0.59), Meghalaya and West Bengal (both 0.58), Nagaland (0.57), Himachal Pradesh and Tripura (0.51 both), Arunachal Pradesh (0.47) and Uttarakhand (0.45). Sikkim is the least vulnerable state with the index being 0.42,” the study says.

It says that, “Several drivers of vulnerability are evident for the state of J&K. These include, in the order of significance, least road density, no area under crop insurance, low area under forests per 1,000 rural households, high percentage of marginal farmers, low percentage area under horticulture crops, low livestock to human ratio and low percentage of women in the overall workforce.”

The study says that climate change is already occurring and impacting natural ecosystems and human societies.

It says, “To reduce these uncertainties and plan towards sustainable development it is essential to adopt evidence based adaptation planning in IHR. This requires an in-depth understanding of the key risks and vulnerabilities derived from scientific assessments.”

The study has been authored by IIT Guwahati Anamika Barua Associate Professor Deptt. of Humanities and Social Science Principal Investigator Rupam Bhaduri Research Scholar Centre for the Environment Vishaka Gulati Research Scholar Deptt. of Humanities and Social Sciences IIT Mandi Shyamasree Dasgupta Assistant Professor School of Humanities and Social Sciences Co – Principal Investigator Kritishnu Sanyal Project Associate School of Humanities and Social Sciences Mir Khursheed Alam Research Scholar School of Humanities and Social Sciences IISc Bangalore N.H. Ravindranath Professor Centre for Sustainable Technologies (CST) Key Resource Person Indu K Murthy Consultant Scientist Centre for Sustainable Technologies Tashina Esteves Research Associate Jagmohan Sharma Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Forest Conservation) Government of Karnataka.

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Massive reshuffle in police, civil admin likely after June 27

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Srinagar, Jun 19: A massive reshuffle in civil and police administration is likely to be ordered anytime after June 27 when the ongoing “Back to village” program launched by Governor’s administration across Jammu and Kashmir will come to an end.

Authoritative sources said that exercise for a massive reshuffle in civil and police administration has been set into motion with the proposals being processed for transfer of senior IAS and IPS officers holding key positions in the state administration. The proposals for deputation of several senior IAS and IPS officers and return of some others from central deputation to Jammu and Kashmir government have been set into motion.

In the likely reshuffle in civil and police administration several administrative secretaries are likely to be relieved of the additional charge of some key departments which they are overseeing presently in addition to their own duties.

 

The reshuffle could be ordered phase wise to dispel the impression about the working of some non-performing officers presently holding key positions as directors of some key departments and deputy commissioners of districts in all the three regions Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh.

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