SRINAGAR,August 9: In a significant move, Governor N N Vohra today asked the State Planning, Development and Monitoring Department to urgently prepare a comprehensive State-wide list of all development projects which have been pending for years for want of the required financial resources resulting in speedily growing cost overruns. He also called for an assessment of the total funds required for completing all such projects within the next 2 years.
Chairing a high-level meeting this afternoon to review the status of public works projects Governor observed that after Chief Secretary has drawn up a reliable assessment he would address the Govt. of India and request for a one -time sanction of a special grant to complete all pending projects and put to use the investments made in these works.
Advisors to Governor B B Vyas and Khurshid Ahmed Ganai and Chief Secretary Shri B V R Subrahmanyam participated in the meeting.
Governor observed that during his recent visits to various districts in all the three regions he had noted that there are, in every district, a number of old projects which have not been completed for want of resources. Also, there are a good number of projects which were taken up without the requisite approvals which were also required to be completed to salvage the large expenditures already incurred.
Governor asked Chief Secretary to study the aforesaid two categories of cases, involving very large expenditures already made, and advise the kind of systemic hurdles which may be improved to ensure against unauthorised sanctions of building works being made in the future.
Governor advised all Administrative Secretaries to maintain strict fiscal discipline and ensure that a development work commences only after accord of financial approval and availability of adequate financial resources.
Governor asked Chief Secretary to evolve a scheme for instituting annual awards to recognise and reward engineers, construction companies and contractors whose work is commendable. He also called for incentivizing executing agencies for completing developmental projects ahead of the scheduled time while maintaining the requisite specifications and quality of work. Such a move, he said, will go a long way in encouraging best practices in the execution of construction works.
Governor also called for installing plaques on building complexes which give the cost of the project, the construction agency/ name of contractor and the dates of commencement and completion.
In the context of his review of the upcoming Government Medical College at Doda, Governor asked Chief Secretary to urgently constitute a committee to coordinate all activities relating to the timely completion of the 5 medical colleges which are coming up at Anantnag, Baramulla, Kathua, Rajouri and Doda. This Committee should over view construction work; timely procurement of medical equipments, engagement of faculty, nursing and paramedical staff. He also asked Chief Secretary to examine the legal requirements for ensuring that a given number of the passing out medical graduates are liable to serve in J&K for a specified period.
Kulgam killings: Kashmir shuts in mourning
Srinagar, Oct 22:A complete shutdown was Monday observed across the Valley to mourn the death of seven civilians who died in an explosion near gunfight site in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Sunday.
The shutdown call was given by Joint Hurriyat Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, appealing people to observe shutdown on Monday and observe sit in protest on Tuesday at Lal Chowk.
In view of the shutdown, the district administration Srinagar had imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar to thwart any protest against the Kulgam killings.
Shops and business establishments were closed while schools colleges and other educational institutions remained shut. Transport both public and private was largely off the roads and train service in Kashmir was suspended by the railway authorities.
Witnesses said that the heavy deployment of forces was deployed in the roads to ensure peaceful situation throughout the day.
The day also witnessed the funeral of Javid Ahmad Lone, the seventh civilian killed in Kulgam, who was buried amid heavy sloganeering at Hawoora, his native village in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.
Javid was identified late on Sunday and his body remained in the mortuary for several hours before his family identified him.
Pertinent to mention that the authorities not only blocked internet, a usual trend, they also snapped mobile phones leading to chaos and information blockade.
Reports said that thousands of people attended Javid’s funeral early on Monday. He was taken in a procession towards graveyard amid pro-freedom slogans. Later, Javid was laid to rest amid sobs and tears.
People of Kulgam buried their six loved ones yesterday and they include Auqib Ahmad Sheikh (18) son of Gulzar Ahmad Sheikh of DanowMacanpora, Kulgam, Uzair Ahmad Dar (8th standard student) son of Mushtaq Ahmad Dar of Nayakpora near Kulgam Town, Irshad Ahmad Paddar son of SayedullahPaddar of Shurat Kulgam, Mansoor Ahmad Dar Son of Ghulam Mohammad Dar of Bogund Kulgam, Talib Ahmad Laway son of Mohammad Maqbool of Laroo and Mukeen Ahmad Bhat of Laroo.
While seven persons were killed more than 40 civilians were injured either due to blast near encounter site or use of force including pellets and bullets by government forces. Among the injured, three seriously wounded were referred from Anantnag district hospital and four from Kulgam hospital to SMHS and SKIMS hospitals here for advanced treatment.
The mayhem as has been described by people on both sides of the political spectrum started soon after government forces launched a cordon-and-search operation at Laroo village.
An encounter ensued between a joint team of forces and militants, leading to the killing of three Jaish-e-Mohammad cadres including Shahid Ahmad Tantary of Wangam Shopian, Zubair Ahmad Lone of Ahwatoo Kulgam and Yazil Ahmad Makroo of Arwani Bijbehara.
Pak PM condemns killings, calls for resolution of K-issue
Islamabad, Oct 22: Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan on Monday condemned the killings in Kashmir, saying that India must move to resolve the Kashmir issue through dialogue.
Khan in his tweet said India must resolve the issue in accordance with UNSC resolutions and also according to the wishes of Kashmiris.
“Strongly condemn the new cycle of killings of innocent Kashmiris in IOK by Indian security forces. It is time India realised it must move to resolve the Kashmir dispute through dialogue in accordance with the UN SC resolutions & the wishes of the Kashmiri people (sic),” Imran Khan tweeted.
Earlier on Sunday,ten persons including three militants and seven civilian were killed during the gunfight that raged between forces and militants in Kulgam district of south Kashmir.
The civilians as per police were killed due to a massive explosion that took place at the gunfight site.
Hizb Commander Naikoo questions Pak’s limited support to Kashmir
‘Our boys are fighting with pistols and SLRs; Pak media doesn’t give us enough space’
Srinagar, Oct 22: In a purported audio message gone viral on social media in Kashmir, militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen’s commander, Riyaz Naikoo, on Monday sought to remind the people of Pakistan about their “responsibility” in the ongoing “armed resistance” in the valley.
Naikoo, who took over after Sabzar Bhat was killed in May last year, questioned Pakistan’s politicians over their diplomatic support to the “Kashmir movement”.
“Any resistance movement has three dimensions: diplomatic, political, and armed. Diplomatically, only Pakistan can support us, but unfortunately the politicians there have kept the Kashmir issue limited to elections only. It is your responsibility to pass on this message to them and to wake up their conscience,” Naikoo could be heard saying in the unconfirmed 17-minute message.
Naikoo said the militants “biggest problem” was “the lack of weapons”.
“AK47, which was used in 1990s by the militants, continues to be our weapon too. In fact, many of us do not possess that as well. In 1990s, militants used to carry five magazines, and today, the maximum we have is two or three,” he said, while explaining the weaponry the government forces carry in comparison.
Naikoo said when any of their colleagues gets killed in a gunfight, his parents ask them whether their son possessed enough arms to combat.
“We become speechless at that point in time,” he said. “Around 40 of our colleagues have attained martyrdom this year alone. You all shall know what we have received from the base camp. Our boys are fighting with mere pistols and SLRs,” he said.
“My aim is not to criticise you neither do I doubt your intentions. My goal is to awaken your emotions.”
“Feel the pain Kashmir suffers from.”
Naikoo, the audio message added, said that in comparison to how India and its “agencies” were using their diplomatic prowess to “defame and distort Kashmir movement”, Pakistan newspapers and its national media was “not giving” Kashmir issue enough space.
“Here (in Kashmir) we are not able to use social media freely and counter the lies and confusion perpetrated by our enemies. You could have done it easily there,” he said.
Naikoo claimed “our colleagues at the base camp” were in contact with many in Kashmir, many of whom work for “the agencies”.
“Our base camp colleagues trust them blindly and then bring them in contact with the militants in the field, consequences of which are faced by us. Besides, it also leads to our colleagues in the field thinking badly of the people at the base camp,” he said.
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