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Jehlum Tawi Flood Recovery Project: World Bank team to visit Kashmir on Oct 22

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Srinagar, Oct 16: Principal Secretary, Planning, Development and Monitoring Department Rohit Kansal Tuesday chaired the meeting of officials here to review the progress and implementation of Jhelum and Tawi Flood Recovery Project (JTFRP).
The meeting was attended by CEO Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA), Dr Raghav Langar, Chief Engineer ERA, Showkat Ahmad Wani, Director Planning and Coordination Jhelum and Tawi Flood Recovery Project (JTFRP) Iftikhar Ahmad Hakeem, Director Technical JTFRP, Khalid Iqbal, Director Disaster Management, Aamir Ali, Joint Director Planning, Sheikh Shavaiz and other concerned officials.
On the occasion, the meeting was informed that the rupees 1500 crore project has been divided into five components. Under its first component, the work is being carried on the construction and strengthening of critical infrastructure at the estimated cost of Rs 216.59 crore. The construction of roads and bridges is being carried out at an estimate cost of Rs 597.80 crore.
The amount of Rs 272.95 crore is being spent on the restoration of urban flood management infrastructure, while as Rs 106.78 crore is being utilized on the restoration and strengthening of livelihoods. Similarly, the amount of Rs 120 crore is being utilized for strengthening of disaster management capacity.
Terming JTFRP as the project of great significance for the State, Kansal asked the officials to work on this project with added enthusiasm and directed them to ensure that all the efforts are made on the implementation of project as expeditiously as possible. For this purpose, he directed the officials to ensure that all the projects be allotted for the execution by November 30.
He also sought the details about the DPRs to be submitted to the World Bank for different projects involving different sectors in education, Roads hospitals and others.
Kansal informed the meeting that the team from the World Bank will be visiting the valley on October 22 to October 26 to take midterm review of the World-Bank-funded JTFRP. The review will be taken to access the progress of the project.
In this regard, he directed the officials to prepare all the necessary documents and presentations to be presented before the World Bank team. He also asked the officials to convene a meeting, before the visit of World Bank team, to discuss all the things that need to be shared with them.
It is pertinent to mention here that in September 2014, the incessant rains caused Jhelum and Chenab Rivers as well as many other streams/tributaries to flow above the danger mark causing the flood in Kashmir, resulting in huge infrastructural damage.
In the aftermath of the devastating floods the Government of India requested assistance from the World Bank and an emergency project figured by the Natural Disaster was started, the Project is named as Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project.
JTFRP will focus on restoring critical infrastructure using international best practice on resilient infrastructure. Given the region’s vulnerability to both floods and earthquakes, the infrastructure will be designed with upgraded resilient features, and will include contingency planning for future disaster events. Therefore, the project aims at both restoring essential services disrupted by the floods and improving the design standard and practices to increase resilience.


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India revokes MFN status granted to Pakistan

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New Delhi, Feb 15: India on Friday announced that it had decided to withdraw the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status granted to Pakistan and would also take all possible steps to isolate the country at the international level after Thursday’s car bomb attack in which at least 49 CRPF men were killed in Kashmir.
Briefing the press after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), Minister Arun Jaitley said outside Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence that the Ministry of External Affairs would announce the diplomatic steps to be taken against Pakistan.
A notification would be issued by the Commerce Ministry withdrawing the MFN status.
Jaitley announced that the government would call for an all-party meeting after Home Minister Rajnath Singh returned from a visit to Kashmir.
Speaking at a public function just after Jaitley’s briefing, Modi assured people that the perpetrators of the attack would be punished.
He said it was important that the country spoke in one voice after the strike.
The CCS meet morning was chaired by the Prime Minister. Rajnath Singh, Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Nirmala Sitharaman were present at the meeting.
Top security officials are learnt to have made a presentation on the incident and the overall security situation in the State.
Pakistan rejects any link to CRPF convoy attack: India on Friday summoned Pakistan’s top envoy and lodged strong protest over the killing of 49 CRPF soldiers in the Pulwama militant attack carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
JeM claimed responsibility for the attack that left at least 49 CRPF soldiers dead and many others critically wounded.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale summoned Pakistan High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood and lodged strong protest over the killing of the CRPF soldiers in Pulwama, official sources said.
Pakistan has denied any involvement in the attack that claimed the lives of 49 CRPF troopers in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the attack was a matter of “grave concern” and it had been condemning “heightened acts of violence in the (Kashmir) Valley”.
“We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian government and media circles that seek to link the attack to the State of Pakistan without investigations,” said the statement.
Reports said that India has called its High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria to New Delhi “for consultations” in the wake of attack on the CRPF convoy.

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Joint Hurriyat calls for end to hostilities: ‘We regret every killing in Kashmir’

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Srinagar, Feb 15: Reacting to Thursday’s militant attack at Lethpora, Pulwama in which 49 CRPF personnel were killed, Joint Hurriyat Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik Friday said that people and leadership of Kashmir regret every killing that happens on its soil.
“As we witness killing of our loved ones our young, and shoulder their coffins each day, we can feel and understand the pain and sense of loss that the family and friends of those who are killed go through, not for a day or two when everyone is expressing grief and condolences to them, but the silent grief and loss that stays with them for a lifetime,” the leadership said in a statement.
They added that the delay in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute, the denial to engage with the sentiments and aspirations of the people of J&K and instead the “use of a muscular military approach to counter an essentially political and human problem, is wreaking havoc in Kashmir”.
“Militarization, CASOs, use of bullets and pellets, blowing-up homes, blinding and maiming, slapping PSAs as a means to crush legitimate political aspirations of a people has not only failed but worsened the situation,” they said.
Joint Hurriyat said that if this “dance of death has to stop, if hatred and revenge have to stop, if killing and counter-killings have to stop and if we really want peace in the region we have to put an end to hostilities.”
“And the most effective and civilized manner to do so, is to reach out and engage and listen to the concerns of all three stakeholders and address them in the spirit of humanity and justice. Resolve the Kashmir dispute for all times,” it said.
Joint Hurriyat also strongly condemned the incidents of arson in Jammu in Gujjar Nagar and elsewhere where some communal elements torched the vehicles of Kashmiris and injured many others.
“Right from 1947 communal forces active in Jammu who leave no stone unturned to attack and intimidate Muslims and Kashmiri people. It is the responsibility of the administration to ensure the safety and security of Muslims and Kashmiris and living there.

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Jammu situation: Move employees threaten to return to Kashmir

Global News Service

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Srinagar, Feb 15: As crowds of miscreants are on a rampage against a particular community in Jammu amid “symbolic” curfew, vehicles of employees from Kashmir have been damaged and stones thrown at official accommodations in the state’s winter capital on Thursday.
Reports said a number of vehicles bearing Kashmir registration numbers have been damaged and attempts made to set on fire their dwellings by the rampaging crowds.
Secretariat Employees Union Ghulam Rasool Mir told GNS that there have been attempts to set ablaze the several residential quarters of employees while stones were thrown at most them.
“Our vehicles have been damaged and attempts have been made to torch our houses,” Mir said.
He said that if the government failed to provide fool proof security, the employees from Kashmir will be forced to return to Kashmir in a bid to protect themselves and their families.
“I have brought it into the notice of Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and Commissioner Secretary Home,” he said, adding: “If the government fails to provide the required security to safeguard the life and property of the employees, we will issue appeal to employees to protect themselves and their families and return to Kashmir.”
Another employees leader, President Darbar Move Employees Federation Owais Wani said that the curfew imposed by the administration is “symbolic” and has not been imposed strictly to enable due protection to the people from Valley including the employees working in civil secretariat and other departments.
“Wherever vehicle bearing numbers belong to Kashmir are seen, they are been damaged,” he added and urged governor to ensure due protection.

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