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Inclement weather forecast:CS reviews preparedness of districts




JAMMU, JANUARY 3: Chief Secretary, Shri B V R Subrahmanyam Thursday chaired a video conference with the divisional and district administration of Kashmir and Jammu divisions to review the preparedness in view of the weather forecast for the 4th & 5th January, which predicts moderate to heavy snowfall across Kashmir division and parts of Jammu division falling in the Pir Panjal range including Doda, Ramban, Kishtwar, Poonch and Rajouri.

Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Secretary, PHE, I&FC, DMRR&R, and Secretary Horticulture were also present in the meeting. Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Deputy Commissioners and other senior officers participated through video conferencing.

Chief Secretary directed the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir/Jammu and concerned Deputy Commissioners to remain alive to the weather prediction for the next few days and ensure that the action plan for restoration of basic services/supplies is implemented in synergy and coordination with all the line departments on real time basis for which control rooms at the district and sub district headquarters be kept functional 24×7.


Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir informed that the divisional and district administration with its men and machinery is fully geared up to meet any eventuality on account of inclement weather. He said that adequate number of snow clearance machines and bulldozers have been deployed in advance at specific locations across the division besides water supply tankers.

Regarding power, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir said that PDD has already pruned trees in the vicinity of transmission lines and this time minimal disruption in power supply is expected due to snowfall. “The major disruption in power supply due to snow fall of November 3rd and 4th, 2018 was mainly because of foliage on trees. Moreover, adequate buffer stock of transformers is available in all districts” he said.

Divisional Commissioner, Jammu briefed about the action plan and status of preparedness in the districts of Doda, Ramban, Kishtwar, Poonch and Rajouri.

Chief Secretary undertook district wise review of the status of snowfall preparedness, availability of essential commodities including ration, K-Oil, LPG, petroleum products and heating arrangements in hospitals besides availability of firewood. He asked Deputy Commissioners of Kupwara, Bandipora, Kishtwar, Doda, Poonch and Rajouri to ensure that Tulail, Tangdhar, Gurez, Dachan, Marwa, Warwan and Padder and other snow bound remote areas are specially taken care of to avoid any inconvenience to the people living in these areas. He urged Deputy Commissioners to access the funds admissible under SDRF norms for restoration of water supply schemes, power and road infrastructure, wherever required

In order to further augment water supply tankers, transformers, snow clearance machinery and heating arrangements, Chief Secretary asked the Deputy Commissioners to project the fund requirement on this account to the Divisional Administration Kashmir/Jammu for early release.

Preparedness with regard to snow clearance of roads and bye lanes, restoration of water supply schemes, traffic management, rescue plan and facilities for stranded passengers/truckers along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and other important roads was also reviewed.

As regards status of disbursement of relief among the farmers/growers affected by the snowfall November 3rd and 4th, 2018, Chief Secretary observed that Rs 97.5 Crore have been sanctioned as additional assistance for disbursement of relief among the affected farmers/growers of Kulgam, Anantnag, Shopian, Pulwama and Baramulla. Deputy Commissioners were directed to ensure its disbursement within the next 10 days, positively.

Chief Secretary impressed upon the Deputy Commissioners to redouble their efforts to mitigate the problems of the people, undertake regular field visits and be accessible to the general public for addressing their grievances.



Entrepreneur duo comes up with ‘Fast Beetle’, valley’s ‘first’ logistics company

Hirra Azmat



Srinagar, Jan 22: In the fast paced world, convenience and ease of access is a mantra that no business can afford to ignore.

In Kashmir too, the customer demands his pound of flesh and businesses have begun to cater to this aspect.

Enter ‘Fast Beetle’, a specialised delivery service that began operations last year and claims to be the first logistics company in the entire valley that provides end-to-end service to the entrepreneurs, specifically women.


Owned by two young entrepreneurs, Sami Ullah and Abid Rashid, the logistics company promises to take on the challenge of fulfilling the promise of timely delivery. They ensure that orders received from many valley based e-commerce websites reach the customer within a day.

After completing his MBA, Sami Ullah, 27, started working with a company called ‘Kashmir Box’. He came across many e-commerce website owners who were facing problems in the delivery of their products. This triggered the idea behind his startup.“What I observed was that the issue was mostly faced by female entrepreneurs. They find difficult to move out from their home every day. So I decided why not set up a delivery service,” recalls Sami Ullah.

Last year in September, Sami Ullah started working on the idea along with his friend Abid, who too has an MBA.
After two months of research, the duo gradually built their network with the local e-commerce websites, soon interacting with over 50 entrepreneurs, mostly women.

“In the first stage, we did the mapping of Instagram pages and accordingly approached them,” recounts Sami Ullah.

The founders started the company with a moderate capital saved from their previous jobs and they worked on a minimum-profit basis.

However, their start-up didn’t progress the way they had planned. The challenges came as the business started to evolve.“As the customers multiplied, the phone calls about the delivery details increased too.

The clients would call us repeatedly to ensure if their product was delivered. The whole process became tedious,” says Sami Ullah.

The duo then developed a software that streamlined the order details including the delivery status.“When the entrepreneurs create an order, the company receives an e-mail automatically through the system. Our admin assigns the delivery boys and then forwards the details of the order.  It provides an end to end protection to our clients,” explains Sami Ullah.

At present, the duo functions from a warehouse in Zaldagar area of old-city.

They have five people working for them.

The company receives over 50-60 orders on an average every day and has, so far, delivered over 4,000 orders.

They now earn double than what their jobs offered and are proud owners of five motorcycles used for the delivery purposes.“Most deliveries that we do are for cosmetics, medicines, clothes, shoes and other grocery items,” says Sami Ullah.

The company charges the client a commission on the total value of the order.

The company has extended its cash on delivery services in Anantnag, Sopore and Baramulla and plans to start a franchise model in every district in the future.

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No public transport in late hours; authorities say electric buses in offing

Sakeena Banday



Srinagar, Jan 22: Authorities have failed to provide inter and intra-district public transport service for the people of Kashmir, especially during the late afternoon and evening hours.

Each working day, commuters can be seen jostling for seats in private cabs here, a limited number of which ply to and fro the districts of Kashmir.
At Jehangir Chowk in Srinagar, people are seen anxiously waiting for a cab in late hours, knowing if they miss one, they may have to wait for hours for another.

A similar situation is also faced by the commuters on various city routes, who complain about the absence of passenger buses and cabs.


In addition to the hassle, the passengers pay a much higher fare than they would have had there been any government transport service available.
“After 5 pm, cabs running from Lal Chowk to Nishat are difficult to find and even after waiting for hours at Jehangir Chowk, we hardly find any transport in the evening,” said a resident of Nishat, who travels to the city-centre each day.

The problem, commuters say, aggravates in winters because of lesser daylight.“There is hardly any direct cab service between Lal Chowk and Soura. I travel by bus which moves very slowly, wasting a good hour and a half for the journey that can be completed within 30 minutes,” a resident from Soura said.

Principal Secretary Transport Department, Asgar Hassan Samoon said the government’s plan to run eco-friendly, battery-powered buses will be rolled out in Jammu and Kashmir soon.“It will take some time because we need to set up electric charge-stations. Till then, by the month of March, 50 to 70 city buses should be started (sic),” he said.

Asked about inter-district transport, Samoon said: “We will try to start night services and transport services for long routes as well.”

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JK fully prepared for census of water bodies: Revenue Deptt



Jammu, Jan 22: Department of Revenue today said that Financial Commissioner (Revenue), who is also Census Commissioner, has initiated all the requisite measures for smooth conduct of 6th Minor Irrigation Census and first census of Water Bodies with the reference year 2017-18.
The census is being conducted in Jammu and Kashmir along with other States by the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
For conducting the census efficiently, field functionaries of Revenue Department viz Tehsildars/ Naib-Tehsildars/ Girdawars/Patwaries/OQs have been imparted training at their respective District Headquarters in all Districts except Leh and Kargil by the Planning Cell in the Office of Financial Commissioner, Revenue.
The schedules along with Guidelines and Instruction Manual have been distributed among the Tehsils. Village directory required by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India has been prepared and sent to the concerned.
“Deputy Commissioners have been authorized as per plan of activities approved by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to procure Mobile Devices for each Tehsil as required for capturing photographs of water bodies, a statement of the Department said.
“A mobile-friendly app/software would be made available by the concerned Ministry.”
All enumerators have been kept in the state of readiness for field operation which shall commence as per the time schedule to be circulated by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India, the statement added.

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