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‘Illegal encroachments eating up originating spot of River Jehlum’

Monitor News Bureau

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Civil Society members from Shahabad Verinag Thursday staged a protest against the failure of authorities to stop encroachments near the source of Verinag.
“The originating spot of River Jehlum was 180 feet wide but it has shrunk to 30 feet only due to unabated encroachments. The irony is that even lavatories have been set near the source of the Jehlum while the concerned departments particularly Verinag Development Authority and Municipal Committee Dooru Verinag are in slumber and act like ostrich,” said one of concerned citizens Mushtaq Ahmed.
“Despite court directions, authorities have failed to remove these encroachments. On the directions of Divisional Commissioner, the SDM Dooru had constituted a committee to dismantle these illegal structures, but that committee never worked on ground,” they said.
They said that High Court after devastating 204 floods had underscored the need to restore the originating point of the Jhelum to its original width. However, authorities including Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Public Health Engineering Department, Verinag Development Authority and Municipal Committee Dooru Verinag have miserably failed to take measures for removal of encroachments there.
The protesting Civil Society members appealed environmentalists and conscious citizens of Kashmir Valley to raise their voices against this tragedy.
“These hutments have disfigured the beauty of the Jehlum while the filth emanating from lavatories have been polluting the water. The concerned officials should be questioned and taken to task,” they demanded.
Mushtaq Ahmed who is the president of Greater Verinag Shahabad Civil Society while lamenting over the present condition of Jehlum river in Verinag said that during Maharaja’s rule in Kashmir even cyclists were not allowed to ply on the banks of river Jhelum and now illegal structures come up in broad day light with the connivance of government officials,” he said.


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Kashmir

Vijay Kumar appointed senior security adviser in home ministry

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, December 6: Former adviser to the Governor of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, K Vijay Kumar, has been appointed as a senior security adviser in the Union Home Ministry headed by Amit Shah, an official order said.

The 1975-batch officer of the Indian Police Service will “advise the ministry on security-related matters of Union Territory of J-K and Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected states,” the order said.The appointment order issued by the Union Home Ministry on December 3 stated that 67-year-old Kumar would be in the position for a period of one year from the date of his taking charge.

Kumar has served as the Director General of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Director of the National Police Academy in Hyderabad and his most talked-about stint was as the chief of the Tamil Nadu police special task force that killed forest brigand Veerappan in 2004.After his retirement from service and as DG, CRPF, in 2012, Kumar was appointed senior security adviser (LWE) in the Home Ministry then headed by Rajnath Singh.

 
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Kashmir

Centre plans to build 11 new airports in J&K, 2 in Ladakh

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Dec 5: As many as 11 airports in Jammu and Kashmir, and two in Ladakh have been put up for bidding under the fourth round of the regional air connectivity scheme, according to a release.

So far, 688 routes have been awarded to various air operators under the Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) that seeks to connect unserved as well as underserved destinations and also make flying more affordable.

The civil aviation ministry announced the fourth round of UDAN bidding on Tuesday and the focus is on North East Region, hilly states, J&K and Ladakh.

 

Under UDAN 4.0, the ministry has put on offer bids for 11 unserved airports in J&K and 2 underserved airports in Ladakh region, as per the official release issued on Thursday.

The 11 airports in J&K are Akhnur, Chamb, Chushal, Fukche, Gurex, Jhangar, Miran Sahib, Panzgam, Poonch, Rajouri and Udhampur.

The two aerodromes in Ladakh are at Kargil and Thoise.

“The objective is to establish strong air connectivity and to boost the tourism sector,” the release said.

J&K and Ladakh are now union territories.

For UDAN 4.0, initial proposals can be submitted till January 1, 2020, and counter proposals till January 13.

The declaration of selected airline operator and issue of letter of award (LoA) would be done on January 31, 2020.

Among other incentives, the ministry would be extending additional viability gap funding of around 25 per cent to the participating airlines under UDAN 4.0.

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Kashmir

Post offices in JK fully functional: Prasad

Agencies

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New Delhi, Dec 5: The total number of post offices in Kashmir is 698 and all are currently functional, the Minister of Communications and electronics and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said on Thursday.

Replying to a query in Rajya Sabha, Prasad said there was no suspension of postal services in Kashmir post August 5.

“However, to regulate the inward mail traffic and electronic money orders, the Department of Posts temporarily suspended booking and transmission of Speed Post, Registered Post and Parcels from August 5 to August 18 and booking of electronic money orders to Kashmir from August 13 to August 27 August, on account of operational reasons, the minister said.

 

Department of Posts resumed inward mail services to Kashmir from the rest of country from August 19 and electronic money orders from August 28.

He also said that the government took various steps for functioning of the Post Offices to service courts and other institutions. Both wings of the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir that is Jammu wing and Srinagar Wing and all the District Courts in Jammu, Kashmir regions have been functioning normally before and after August 5.

He said that mail vehicle schedules of Kashmir have been rescheduled to forward mail bags to all the post offices during early hours of the day to avoid any damage or loss to mail vehicles, mail bags and staff. This enabled delivery of mail in all delivery areas.

The minister stressed concerned authorities have been requested to activate mobile and landline numbers of Post offices and Postmasters to provide basic postal services.

Special mail arrangements have been made with Jammu & Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation, to carry mail bags from August 18 onwards from Jammu to Srinagar.

“Monitoring of daily operations of post offices through daily reports from all the postal divisions was made and basic postal operations have been ensured for public. Pay and allowances to staff of Kashmir working in the Department of Posts are being paid regularly,” the minister said.

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