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HPC clears 315 languishing projects for funding

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Srinagar, Oct 10:The second meeting of the High-Powered Committee (HPC) constituted for ensuring assured funding of languishing projects to complete them in set timeframe was held here today. The meeting was chaired by Principal Secretary, Finance, Navin K Choudhary, who is also the Chairman of the Committee.

Giving details, Principal Secretary Finance said the Committee in today’s meeting cleared 315 projects of PHE, Tourism, R&B, Health and Industries and Commerce Departments involving an amount of Rs 812 crores.

Principal Secretary, Planning, Development and Monitoring, Rohit Kansal; Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Shailendra Kumar; Commissioner/Secretary, PWD, Khurshid Ahmed Shah; Secretary, PHE/I&FC and DMRRR, Farooq Ahmed Shah; Secretary Tourism Department, Rigzin Sampheal and other officers of the Finance Department and Chief Engineers of various departments attended the meeting.

Navin said the approved projects would be funded for time-bound completion through Jammu and Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC) Ltd.

The Committee, he said, approved funding of 221 Water Supply Schemes across the State for an amount of Rs 459 crores which will be completed within a year’s time and will make a marked difference on the ground so far as drinking water supply is concerned. Remaining 150 schemes of PHE will be taken up in the subsequent meetings of the Committee when PHE department completes the required paper work.

The Committee also approved nine additional languishing projects of R&B department, requiring an amount of Rs 19.60 crore for completion.    In addition, the Committee cleared funding of different component of Mubarak Mandi Project involving an amount of Rs 65.38 crores for completion.

The Committee approved 48 incomplete projects of Health and Medical Education Department across the State for an amount of Rs 90.53 crores.  Further, the Committee approved 31 projects of Industries and Commerce Department for completion at a cost of Rs 178.61 crores which will give a boost to promotion of Industries in the State.

Pertinently, in its two meetings held so far, the High-Powered Committee has cleared 556 projects in various sectors across the State involving an amount of Rs 1382 crores.  The previous meeting of HPC was held on 3 October 2018.

The Principal Secretary Finance said the meetings of the HPC would be held at regular intervals to ensure early processing and approval of all such projects which are languishing for want of funds. He said the 3rd meeting of the Committee is scheduled to be convened on 22 October 2018.


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Schedule for 9-phase panchayat polls issued

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Oct 22: Two days after announcing the municipal poll results, the Chief Electoral Officer, Shaleen Kabra, on Monday announced the schedule for the nine-phase panchayat elections beginning November 17.

Addressing a press conference, the Chief Electoral Officer said the elections would be held for 316 blocks in 4,483 Panchayat Halqas comprising 35,029 Panch constituencies.

“The polling will be held on November 17, 20, 24, 27, 29, December 1, December 4, December 8, and December 11,” he said.

The dates of notification would be October 23, 26, 29, December 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 14, respectively, he said.

The dates of scrutiny of nominations will be October 31, and November 3, 6, 9, 12, 14, 17, 20, and 24.

Kabra said the last dates for withdrawal of candidature would be November 2, 5, 8, 12, 14, 16, 19, 22, and 26.

The number of electorate in panchayat polls, he said, would be 58,54,208.

He said the counting of votes would be done on the day of polling and in some cases, if required, the counting would take place the next day.

The Chief Electoral Officer said the voting would be done with ballot papers.

“In view of recent amendments making direct election to sarpanch, the electors shall cast their votes for panch as well as sarpanch, for which two separate coloured ballot papers will be used,” he said.

He announced that poll timing would be from 8 am to 2 pm and entire polls process would be completed by December 17.

Asked about the reduction in polling time, he said there would be less voters in panchayat polls than the urban local body elections.

For the panchayat polls, he said that ballot boxes are being brought from Haryana.

About the apprehensions about security being raised by the aspiring candidates, he said, “Appropriate security arrangements are being put in place to ensure peaceful elections.”

 

CEO admits media barred from entering polling booths

Monitor News Bureau

Srinagar, Oct 22: Chief Electoral Officer, Shaleen Kabra, on Monday said media was barred from entering the polling booths in the recently concluded municipal elections to not put the voters to “unnecessary disadvantage”. 

Kabra said special cards were issued by his office for the media men to cover the elections.

“The media people can visit any polling booth. But sometimes, they are barred not to put the voters into unnecessary disadvantage,” Kabra said.

In the urban local bodies elections, the media personnel were not allowed to go inside the polling booths at various places.

Chief Electoral Officer said 178 wards were left vacant in the urban local bodies.

“Separate elections will be held for the vacant wards,” he said.

Asked about low voter turnout, he said he was not the appropriate person to put this question to.

“We made all the arrangements and asked people to vote. Why people did not turn up should not be asked to me.”

The four-phase urban local body elections were held on October 8, 10, 13 and 16.

The overall poll percentage of all phases across the state has been 35.1 percent.  Jammu recorded a voter turnout of 68.4 per cent, while in Kashmir it did not cross double digits in any of the phases.

 

 

 

Model code of conduct to continue

Monitor News Bureau

Srinagar, Oct 22:The Chief Electoral Officer, J&K, Shalin Kabra has said that the model code of conduct that came into effect since the start of Local Body Polls will continue till the completion of the Panchayat Polls.

An official order said, consequent to the above, the following instructions are hereby issued for strict compliance by all the Administrative Secretaries, Heads of Departments, District Development Commissioners and District Superintendents of Police:

(i) There shall be a ban on the transfer of officers/ employees who are connected with the conduct of Panchayat Elections – 2018 till the completion of the electoral process. However, in cases where the transfer of an officer/ official is considered absolutely necessary in public interest, the concerned Administrative Secretary may approach the Chief Electoral Officer, J&K with full justification and obtain prior clearance before issuance of any such order.

(ii) All officers/ officials involved in the conduct of Panchayat Elections including Designated Police Officers shall be under the administrative control of the Chief Electoral Officer, J&K for superintendence and discipline.

Further, all the District Election Officers (Deputy Commissioners) and District Superintendents of Police are enjoined upon to strictly adhere to the instructions issued by the Chief Electoral Officer, J&K from time to time in order to ensure free and fair elections.

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Traffic not allowed on Lal Chowk stretch today

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Srinagar, Oct 22: Traffic will not be allowed between Regal Chowk and Amira Kadal on the residency road in Srinagar tomorrow in view of proposed Joint Hurriyat march, officials said on Monday.

In view of security restrictions in Srinagar on 23rd of October, 2018, traffic will not be allowed to ply on Regal Chowk-Amira Kadal Bridge Road stretch,” said SSP Traffic city Tahir Gilani.

He requested the commuters to use the alternate routes to reach their destinations.

“Any inconvenience caused is highly regretted,” he said.

Joint Hurriyat Leadership has called for a march to Lal Chowk tomorrow to protest against killing of seven civilians in Kulgam on Monday.

 

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Home Minister visiting JK today, all pol parties expected to meet him

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Srinagar, Oct 22: The State’s mainstream political parties are meeting union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on his visit to Jammu and Kashmir Tuesday and will submit their memoranda on different issues to the visiting minister.

Top placed sources said that National Conference, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will meet Singh Tuesday afternoon here.

Sources said that NC will be represented by its State General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, PDP by its vice president Abdul Rehman Veeri and JKPCC by its state president Ghulam Ahmad Mir.

The three political leaders will meet Singh separately on behalf of their parties.

Sources said that CPI (M) State Secretary and MLA Kulgam M Y Tarigami, and PDF chairman and MLA Khansahib Hakim Yaseen have not been invited yet to meet the home minister.

Home minister Rajnath Singh is visiting the state following conducting security situation of the state and will attend a high-level meeting with Governor Satya Pal Malik and top civil, and security forces officials.

 

 

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