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Govt’s anti-graft drive proves hoax, as most ‘corrupt officers get bureaucratic shield’

Kashmir News Service

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Srinagar, Sep 20 : Even as the Vigilance Organization has recovered nearly eighteen million worth deposits and property worth millions from the Chief Engineer of UEED Mohammad Haneef Lone , the tainted officer surprisingly continues to hold on to his chair with Government failing to even attach him to the least.
The courtesy for him to continue to head the department despite such a huge recovery goes to his Commissioner Secretary and other higher authorities of Housing and Urban local bodies. Ironically his continuation of holding on to the chair is in serious contravention to government CSR 31 which warrants his immediate suspension following the registration of FIR by VOK.
Sources told KNS that Consequent upon the registration of FIR Vide Number 29/2018 for possession of disproportionate assets and subsequent multiple raids on the various residential premises of Lone, the VOK has freezed more than 18 million rupees bank and other deposits of the accused besides having found immovable properties worth millions.
Sources revealed that the tainted Chief Engineer had scores of bank accounts most of which he even himself did not remember.
Vigilance sources said that the investigation till date revealed that the tainted CE hailing from Gurez in district Bandipora, has purchased various properties besides having bank deposits and multiple accounts.
If sources are to be believed, Lone possesses 01 kanal land at Rawalpora, 02 Kanals at Mujgund, HMT ( Srinagar), 01 Kanal at Bandipora, Flat at Gulposh Apartments Bemina, Flat at Tawi Apartments Sidra Jammu, Flat at Royal Apartments at Talab Tillo Jammu and also has five personal cars in his possession. The sources added that they were expecting to dig out more properties from the accused Chief Engineer in the coming days.
However, what has made the case more interesting is that the accused lone is still functioning as Chief Engineer UEED obviously by the blessings of his immediate officers who look to have overlooked the seizure of such a huge haul of money and property. Sources in the VOK said that a letter was shot to the administrative department of Housing and urban local bodies urging them to put the tainted officer under suspension in accordance with the CSR 31 (b).
As per the CSR 31 (b),
The appointing Authority or any authority to which it si subordinate or any other authority empowered by the Government in this behalf, may place a government servant under suspension where,
(a) An inquiry into his conduct is contemplated or is pending, or
(b) A complaint against him of any criminal offence is under investigation or trial.
The sources said despite investigations of huge disproportionate assets going on against Lone, none of the authorities in the government have taken a call and placed him under suspension as per law which would have allowed the anti graft body to carry on the investigations without any interruptions and influence. They added that he could not be arrested due to his medical complications but added that putting him under suspension was inevitable as he can destroy many evidences while continuing to remain in chair.


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Kashmir

FB’s #10 yr challenge: Netizens mock languishing govt projects in Kashmir

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, Jan 20: The #10year challenge–the latest rage on Facebook is triggering an unintended consequence in Kashmir.

It has thrown light on the abysmal pace of execution of key developmental projects.
In Kashmir, the government works are conceived and launched with much fanfare, but years, and in some cases decades, pass before they see the light of day.

The #10year challenge, new fad that has taken Facebook by storm and involves a person juxtaposing his or her decade-old photo with the current one, has seen Kashmiri people sharing photos of the incomplete government works here.

 

Netizens mostly share two similar photos of an incomplete pillar of the Jehangir Chowk-Ram Bagh (JCRB) flyover project, which was announced in 2009 and is still incomplete.

The project has missed multiple deadlines. To shut up the criticism they were receiving for the delay, the authorities opened up one way traffic on the first phase of the project, the overall completion of which is still a distant dream.

Announced in 2009, the construction on the flyover, funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at an estimated cost of Rs 359 crore, began in 2013, with September 2016 set as its first deadline. The then chief minister Omar Abdullah had laid the foundation of the flyover.

Apart from JCRB, the other major projects which were started years ago but are yet to be completed include: Boulevard widening project, construction of tunnel on the Mughal Road, and widening of an arterial passage in the capital city, Syed Meerak Shah-Zakura road.
Government had approved the Boulevard widening project in 2009 and had directed the concerned authorities to complete the project on fast-track basis. However, the project is yet to be completed.
The next project following suit is the construction of the tunnel on the Mughal Road.
Fourteen years since the Government of India approved its construction, the project is yet to see the light of the day. The project was approved in 2004, when the PDP shared power with Congress in the state. The proposal was for seven-kilometre long tunnel between Zaznar and Chathapani at 3,000 meters altitude on the 230-year-old Mughal road.
However, the work on the project is yet to be started as a result the road remains closed for nearly six months each year.
Similarly, in 2009 authorities started expansion of the Syed Meerak Shah Road from Dalgate to Zakura, primarily for facilitating smooth flow of vehicular movement through congested areas of old city Srinagar.
The widening project for the 10.33 kilometre road estimated at Rs 336.24 crore was aimed to serve as key surface link to old city Srinagar, Hazratbal shrine and the University of Kashmir. However, ten years have gone by but the project is still lingering.

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257 militants killed in 2018 is highest in 4 years

Agencies

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New Delhi, Jan 20: Jammu and Kashmir witnessed the killing of 257 militants in 2018 – the highest in four years – by government forces, official figures show.
A total of 213 militants were killed in 2017, 150 in 2016 and 108 in 2015.
While 142 militants were eliminated in anti-militancy operations till August 31, the rest were killed in the remaining four months.
An official told IANS that August witnessed the killing of 25 militants – the highest in a single month in 2018.
Also, 105 militants were arrested and 11 surrendered in 2018. The number arrested in 2017 was 97, 79 in 2016 and 67 in 2015.
Government forces also secured surrendering a higher surrender of militants in 2018, which was almost six times more compared to 2017. Only two militants surrendered in 2017 against one in 2016. No militant surrendered in 2015.
The data further revealed that the number of violent incidents were also at a peak during 2018 – almost one-and-half times more than 279 incidents in 2017. A total of 223 violent incidents were registered in 2016 and 143 in 2015.
The security forces also seized 153 AK rifles in 2018 — a dip from 213 in 2017, data accessed by IANS revealed. The number was 178 in 2016 and 177 in 2015.
An official deployed in internal security in Jammu and Kashmir said AK-47 assault rifles were the preferred weapon of militants.
The official, who did not want to be named, said that over 300 militants, including foreigners, were still active in the Kashmir Valley, especially in south Kashmir, which is the epicentre of militancy for over three years now.
“And these militants have been continuously attempting to radicalize youngsters in the Valley to take up arms and to shed fear of getting killed,” said the official.
“Militants were known to monitor activities of youngsters on social media – Facebook and Twitter — who are inclined to militant activities and hardcore religious activities,” the official added.

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Mehbooba among ‘strongest’ CMs of JK: Beg

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Srinagar, Jan 20: Senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehboob Beg on Sunday hailed party president Mehbooba Mufti as one of the most consistent and strongest chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir.
Beg, in a statement, said no matter if she is in the government or in the opposition she remained “steadfast”.
“Her politics and conviction finds basis in her ‘pro-people belief’, how she handled the Kathua rape case is a case in-point,” the statement said.
He said that the PDP president resisted the “sinister attempt to disturb and dislodge the tribal community and ensured no politics was played on this issue.”
Beg said: “Mehbooba’s stand was made crystal clear to the all-powerful central government as well, the Home Minister offered unconditional talks, the cases against protestors were withdrawn, the unilateral ceasefire was announced, how can we not appreciate her persisting with pro-people policies and made the BJP agree to matters that were politically inconvenient to them.”
“She took stands very well realizing that she did not have the numbers to dictate terms to the BJP, yet she persisted and since the BJP did not have the intentions to fulfill the terms agreed upon, they had to pull-out,” he said.
He claimed in the statement that the BJP had entered into this coalition by signing on dotted lines, the Agenda of Alliance was a carefully drafted ‘pro-people’ document.
Beg said “it appears that the BJP had no intention to fulfill what they had committed to do, one cannot do much about if somebody intends to cheat and deceive you.”
“We have had people waste historical opportunities. 1996 was a historic opportunity, the government of the day had overwhelming numbers, but did that government dare to take ‘pro-people’ stands? Let history be the judge on that,” he added.

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