Srinagar, July 10: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President and Member of Parliament Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday urged government of India to seize the golden opportunity and hold talks with all the stakeholders in the state, saying opening of channels of dialogue between the centre and the state will led to successful outcomes. Party president while underscoring the inevitability of the process of dialogue said, “On June 22, 2019 the state governor had said that the Hurriyat was ready for talks. I believe BJP should use its massive mandate to solve the protracted issue of Jammu and Kashmir. There is no other alternative to dialogue. It is the institution of dialogue that will commit both to listen, reflect and question in order to reach a greater understanding. It is an apt time for the center to open all channels of dialogue with the Hurriyat. We have been hearing the Catch-words of “Kashmiriyat, Jamhooriyat, and Insaniyat” for long now, however nothing substantial was done to materialize them.” He further added, “BJP led central government should without much delay tread the path as shown by Vajpayee. The center should move in that direction and hold talks with all stakeholders in the state on the principles advocated by him. The measure of opening dialogue with all the stakeholders will certainly act as a catalyst for restoring peace in the ill-fated state of ours. It is high time for BJP to turn its massive mandate into an aggressive engagement with all the stakeholders.” Party president while necessitating for a dialogue said, “The central government should also address to the external dimensions of the issue and use the method of tact and diplomacy. The central government should continue with the good work done by the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Pakistan too should attend to the genuine grievances of the India. The much touted ‘Neighborhood first’ policy of the BJP led central government would not be able to give the India much anticipated diplomatic dividends if neighbours are left out on this front. I am of the thought that India and Pakistan bonhomie is indispensable for the fight against terrorism. The new government in the Center with a far bigger mandate will certainly earn more esteem if it is able to bring peace in the region. Now it is for the central government to consider if it wants to go down the lane of history as a government that wasn’t able to find solution to the longstanding problem plaguing the region.” While rejecting the frequent tirade of BJP ministers against the Art 370, Art 35- A he said, “The honorable Prime minister should stop the untaught and unintelligent rants emanating from his party. The matter of Art 35-A is sub-judice and it is therefore not appropriate for anybody to comment on it. On the other hand the honorable Supreme Court has recently opined in its April 3rd judgment that Art 370 has acquired a permanent status.” “The provision of Art 370 was not given to us by the then Prime Minister Nehru, but the constituent assembly of India. The motion was supported by the then home minister Vallab Bhai Patel, and the then industries minister Shyama Prasad Mukharjee. In addition to that Art 370 is powered by the conditional instrument of accession previously signed by Maharaja Hari Singh. Moreover the state of Jammu and Kashmir didn’t sign any merger papers which were signed by other princely states, our erstwhile head of state Maharaja only signed document of accession subject to conditions. Subsequently the state and the center entered into an accord, the Delhi agreement of 1952 as it is referred to as. The accord was ratified by the parliament of India and subsequently by the constituent assembly of the state. As such any unscrupulous fiddling with special status of the state will inversely hit the bond of the state with the union. Likewise Art 1 will come under shadow if the Art 370 is fiddled with.” Meanwhile party president said the Kashmiris have always taken it upon themselves to support Amarnath Yatra. “Honorable governor has himself said that the Yatra has always been supported by the locals. Then one fails to understand why locals are put to undue duress by coming up with reckless traffic gags and highways bans. I urge the government to do away with the highway ban. Such decision does not behoove a democratic country like that of ours.” While expressing dismay over the appalling condition of the sole train service in the valley said, “The condition of the train is unclean and the compartments are presenting a filthy appearance. The party president even raised the issue in the parliament the other day. He sought immediate improvement of the facilities being given to the commuters on the train.”
Slew of measures to give Srinagar smooth, sustainable roads: DC
Blacktopping of 125 km of road length;
Road expansions at major traffic nodes;
Strengthening of drainage system
Srinagar, July 15: The government has set about renewing some 125 kilometres of road length in Srinagar while taking a multidimensional approach aimed at long term solutions to concerns surrounding roads in the capital district.
The targeted length includes 100 kilometres that require resurfacing and 25 kilometres which require full macadamisation. It stretches across different kinds of roads including the national highway road and major and interior roads of the district.
Contractors’ strike held up restoration work on roads in the district but about 50 percent of the total targeted work has been completed since work was started in June.
These include a range of important roads including MA Road and IG Road in Tehsil South, Batamaloo-Parimpora road and Bemina road in Tehsil Shalteng, Natipora road and Chanapora-Chrarisharief road in Tehsil Chanpora, North Foreshore Road and Nishat-Shalimar road in Tehsil Harwan and the North South Corridor.
These also include various major roads in the old city including Eidgah road, Ali Jan Road, Khanyar-Zadibal-Pandach road, Nalamar Road, Syed Merak Shah Road and Baghi Ali Mardan Road.
The roads which require full macadamisation and where work has been started include Zero Bridge-IG Road via Kursoo, Zewan-Khonmoh Road, Shala Naseem Road and Boulevard Road from Nehru Park to Kralsangri.
Drainage deficit running into over 50 percent with a shortfall of around 600 kilometres — for which haphazard establishment of residential colonies and their mushroom growth is responsible and which leads to road damages from frequent water-logging as a result — is also being addressed as part of the multidimensional approach to improve road condition as a longterm solution in the district.
The district administration has released five crore rupees to concerned executing agencies to strengthen the drainage network at major locations of concern. Liberal government funding is expected soon to address the problem once and for all.
In addition to this various other measures are being taken as part of the said efforts. Critical bottlenecks at different places across the Srinagar city are being removed for which about 20 crore rupees have been released to the concerned. This is alongside a host of important road expansion projects — worth an aggregate of about 800 crore rupees — for which funding is being released as acquired for taking up execution.
The Sonwar-Panthachowk road which is a critical road being the entrance to the Srinagar city and which remains choked because of its large traffic volume is being decongested for the first time. The work has been started with the Srinagar administration releasing an amount of two crore rupees for shifting of utilities aimed at decongestion of the road.
DC Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary had detailed meetings with both the GOC of 15 Corps and the CEO of Badamibagh Cantonment Board apart from approaching the DG BRO in efforts to address this problem. Concerned stakeholders later held a joint assessment of issues and requirements recognising the need to redress them.
The project will see some 50 kanals of prime land worth many crores of rupees getting retrieved during the decongestion process.
In addition to this decongestion of roads at the economic hub Batamaloo which includes overhauling its drainage network and expanding its roads has also been started — with the latter to follow the former that is going on at present.
This goes alongside the construction of the Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh flyover and enhanced efforts over the past four months aimed at completing it within the new deadline the district administration had set. The completion of ongoing work on the last access ramp at Jehangir Chowk by the end of this month as targeted will mark the completion of the flyover project and the success of determined efforts at that.
In order to ensure true achievement of smooth and sustainable road network in the capital district the district administration has also initiated a performance audit of roads in the district. The DC said the aim is to determine the causes of the problem so as to nip them in the bud as part of the planning process and ensure Srinagar has reliable roads laid with longterm solutions to unique challenges in mind.
This is in addition to a host of important languishing bridge projects in the district which have been resumed to augment and strengthen the road network. These include the Mehjoor bridge and Bagh-e-Mehtab bridge which have already been thrown open and at least six other bridges including Noor Jehan bridge, Qamarwari bridge, Wethpora bridge, Shalteng bridge, Darbagh bridge, Panthachowk footbridge and Takanwari footbridge on which works are currently underway.
Meanwhile in response to several public grievances projected in the recent past all the Public Works Department divisions in Srinagar have been asked to come up with proposals for improving interior roads and lanes in the district. The departments have been asked to focus on rural roads assessing their needs in consultation with the local residents and prepare and submit project reports having been assured of quickest funding and execution.
Dr Shahid said the above is in addition to instructions to all concerned engineers to propose innovative projects involving advanced technologies and ongoing consultations of the district administration with experts from outside the State in this regard — all of it aimed at giving Srinagar the roads that it deserves.
Threat among Kashmiris compelling them not to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’: Adv Farooq Khan
Srinagar, July 15: The newly appointed fifth Advisor to Governor, Farooq Khan Monday said that threat among the people of Kashmir was compelling them not to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, which needs to be eliminated.
While addressing a gathering during the reception function at Jammu Airport said that “we need to put an end to the threat looming among people of Kashmir that compels them not to chant “Bharat Mata ki Jai’. We need to encourage them (Kashmiris) so that they will deal with the militants themselves without having security forces on their back.”
He further said that Kashmir is incomplete without Kashmiri Pandits and the government was taking every possible step to ensure their return. “The slogan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas and Sab Ka Vishwas’ will be implemented on the ground in letter and spirit. Some people claim that this is a political slogan but in actuality it is an assurance from the PM Modi regarding the development and upliftment of all sections of society,” he added.
Khan further stated that Kashmir is equally important as Jammu for him. “My maternal hall is in Kashmir and due to insurgency; people of Kashmir have suffered a lot including their property.
However, he added that those who tried to wedge the gap between the Centre and Kashmiris have been failed by the government. He added there are few more things that need to be done in this regard so that the alienation among the people will come to an end.
According to KNS Correspondent present on the occasion, Khan further added that he will work tirelessly and will try to come up to the expectations of people.
About drug menace in Jammu and Kashmir, Advisor Farooq Khan said that both Jammu and Kashmir are witnessing such menace, which needs to be curbed. “Even when I was far away from Jammu and Kashmir, I was concerned about such menace in Jammu and Kashmir. I believe drug menace is more dangerous than terrorism. I have always acted tough against the offenders and will take every possible step to put an end to drug menace in the State,” he added.
We always welcome home coming of Kashmiri Pandits: Hurriyat (G)
Srinagar, July 15: Commenting on the debate over the return of Kashmiri Pandits, Hurriyat Conference (G) said that we always welcome their home coming and encourage every move which helps their return. Let them come back, live as they previously used to, along with their Muslim brothers.
Hurriyat (G) said that we wholeheartedly and sincerely want them to come back, but will oppose any move to settle them in separate colonies as it negates the very fabric of our social, cultural and mutual bonds.
Commenting on the governor’s statement that separate settlement for Pandits is a compulsion and not a choice, Hurriyat Conference (G) said that if decisions sub-servant to compulsions, then there is every possibility of fading away the realities under the veil and dust of so-called compulsions which everybody can narrate according to his own choice.
Hurriyat Conference (G) said that Pandits have been made show pieces by fascist forces to malign and communalize the ongoing movement. Some self-centered and political opportunists exploit their “victimhood” for their own dividends.
Hurriyat (G) welcomes with open arms every displaced citizen of this state including those who suffered similarly in 1947, 1965, 1990 should also be amongst the beneficiaries.