Srinagar, Sep 15: Concerned over the high rate of casualties in frequent road accidents in the state, the Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Paul Malik has directed the authorities to take stern action against the traffic violators.
The Governor has also directed the officials to constitute special checking squads to curb the increasing road accidents. “Road accidents, especially on National Highway, are assuming alarming proportions. There are standard rules and instructions for vehicle drivers about how to drive safe in mountainous regions but unfortunately the vehicle drivers are not following the standard rules for road safeties,” sources while quoting Governor having said in a meeting.
Sources said that the Governor has said that JK state is not the lone example where the National Highway and other link roads pass over hills and gorges. “The authorities should go tough against the traffic violators and should constitute more special checking Squads to stop the increasing road accidents,”
“The graph of road accidents shows that most of the road accidents happen owing to the fault of the drivers and only few owing to the fault of pedestrians. It means that the transport authorities have to focus on why the drivers are the main cause of accidents and how that situation can be brought under control,” one of the official of the government said.
The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had conducted research on the reasons for increasing road accidents in JK and has observed that the lack of education, enforcement, engineering and emergency is the main reasons for the growing accidents.
Latest tragic accident was on Friday when 17 people lost their live in a minibus accident in Kishtwar district of Jammu region.
According to the official figures, around 6,000 road accidents have been reported annually for the last two years in the state. The actual number according to officials would be much higher as lots of such incidents go unreported.
Sources said that in 2015, 917 people lost their lives in 5,800 road accidents. In 2016, 910 lives were claimed and over 8,000 suffered injuries by road accidents in the state especially in the Jammu region. That means three people die on an average daily in the state.
Between 2011 and 2014, 3960 people lost their lives by road accidents and more than 30,000 people were injured in over 20,000 road accidents.
“The number of road accidents in Jammu and Kashmir which claim around one thousand lives per year is double than the national average based on population of the state,” one of the top Traffic police official said.
“Over 60 percent of the total natural deaths had been caused by road accidents in Jammu and Kashmir while the national average is around 30 percent,” he added.
Sources also said that Jammu and Kashmir also topped the list of “high accidental death-prone areas” in a National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) survey conducted in 2013, which found that an accident in Jammu And Kashmir State has a 64 percent chance of causing death as opposed to 36.4 percent for all of India.
Pakistan militant held, vehicle siezed in Pattan
Srinagar, April 22: A Pakistani millitant and a driver were arrested by government forces at Chainabal area of Pattan in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Monday.
Official sources told GNS that a joint team of Army’s 29, SOG and CRPF stop a Mahindra car (DL 12 CA 4189). During searches the joint team apprehended two persons boarding the vehicle including the militant and the driver.
The vehicle has also been seized while as the Pakistani militant identified as Aqib alias Chota Dujana and driver namely Tafazul of Srinagar were taken to Police Station Pattan for further questioning.
A police officer also confirmed the incident to GNS but declined to commit further.
Traders protest in Srinagar against suspension of cross-LoC trade
Srinagar Apr 22: Traders affected by the suspension of cross-LoC trade by the Centre held a protest march in Srinagar on Monday.
Scores of traders engaged in cross-LoC trade on the Uri-Muzaffarabad route demanded revocation of the suspension order, and sought a fool-proof mechanism for smooth operations.
The traders claimed that suspension of the trade had cost them losses over crores of rupees as their goods were either in transit or lying in godowns.
President, LoC traders Association Tanveer Ahmad Wani claimed each trader had a huge liability in the form of loans from banks and pending stocks at home.
He demanded the resuming of the trade in order to avoid their losses ahead. “The wholesale dealers have started asking for payments as they realized that the trade has been closed indefinitely. We are in a very difficult situation as our entire tradable items, which mostly includes fruits have not arrived at trade facilitation center in Uri, which we could sell to earn livelihood,” he said.
Wani informed a delegation of the LoC traders met Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan Monday adding they are planning to visit MHA office in New Delhi in coming week with their grievances.
“We have no choice other than to commit suicide. It is not only concerning traders but transporters and labourers who have been associated with this trade for the last 10 years,” he said.
Another trader Tanveer Ahmad Mir, who runs business in the name of Kako importers and exporters, said the LoC trade suspension has involved his rupees four crores alone.
“The transaction, which is based on barter system has not happened yet. I am worried about the pending payment for the month to my dealers. Presently stock of stocks of embroidery suits and other items are lying in my store,” he said.
Mir said the government should have intimidated them ahead of announcing this decision to avoid their losses.
“The work regarding installation of full body scanner is going on. Other facilities have also been set up to ensure transparency. The government should continue the trade besides installing advanced mechanism ahead,” he said.
Mohammad Haneef, a 28 years old postgraduate who has been working as a labourer for the last eight years at Trade Facilitation Centre is equally worried with the suspension of the trade.
He said many like him joined as labourers after finding no employment opportunities in the government sector despite an academic qualifications.
“This was the only means to earn bread for our families, which too has been snatched now. There are no good avenues of employment in Uri and we fear our families will have to starve ahead,” he said.
Time to review Article 370, 35A in J&K: Rajnath Singh
Jaipur Apr 22: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said India’s stand against militancy has been weakened on several occasions by the Congress party.
Addressing a press conference here, Singh said, “They (Congress) have given a new theory of Hindu militancy. There is no religion or caste of militancy. Their new theory weakened India’s stand against militancy.”
He said repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) was another such case which undermined India’s stand.
“In 2004, India had an agreement with Pakistan in which its former army chief had assured that the country will not provide shelter and allow militancy to flourish on its soil, but Congress tried weakening India’s stand, saying Pakistan was also a victim of militancy,” he said.
The home minister said the opposition was doing politics over issues which should not be politicised.
Instead of praising the defence forces after the airstrike in Balakot of Pakistan, the opposition parties questioned it with queries on number of militants killed, he said.
“When such types of questions are asked, it weakens India’s stand against militancy,” he said.
Speaking on the Congress’ election manifesto promising to scrap the sedition law, Singh said the law should be further strengthened but it should not be misused.
Talking about Articles 370 and 35A for Jammu and Kashmir, he said it was a temporary arrangement and it was time to review it.
“How much the entitlement benefitted Jammu and Kashmir? When a few people are raising questions there should be two prime ministers in the country then what is the significance of Article 370 and 35A,” Singh asked.
He exuded confidence that the first two phases of Lok Sabha elections reflected a wave in favour of the BJP, and there was no doubt the party will get a clear majority and possibly the NDA will achieve 3/4th majority.
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