Srinagar, Feb 23: Amidst frequent incidents of fire, Kashmir University has been ignoring the calls from the Fire Safety and Emergency Department (F&ES) for safety audit of its structures.
Almost two fire incidents took place in the varsity this month.
On Thursday evening, a major portion of Zabarwan Guest House at Naseem Bagh was damaged in fire.
Kashmir University, in a statement, said the fire started as a result of electric short circuit.
A fortnight ago, a cafe in the same vicinity also caught fire.
In the last one decade, several fire incidents have taken place in the campus, the one in the boys’ hostel being the major among them: in 2009, Sheikh-ul-Alam Boys Hostel, one of the oldest buildings in the University of Kashmir, was gutted in the fire.
Yet, the authorities have been neglecting the requirement for a fire safety audit of its buildings.
Earlier this year, an order was issued by the Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction to all the Deputy Commissioners to ensure safety audit of major lifeline buildings.
It included important offices, hospitals, shopping mall centres schools, colleges and universities within their districts and ensure their fire safety audit.
The Fire and Emergency Department claims that it has been directing the university authorities in the varsity to conduct safety audits.
Deputy Director, Fire and Emergency Service Department, (FE&S) Muhammad Akbar Dar told The Kashmir Monitor that the university administration have been ignoring their pleas to conduct fire safety audit of their various structures.
“I wrote to registrar KU back in 2017 in the month of March for conducting safety audit. But they didn’t reply and only after a month then its Shiekh-ul-ALam Boys Hostel caught fire. Since then, in 2012 or 2013, I have been writing to them, but they haven’t shown any positive response till now,” he said.
Dar however, said that the university had not enough fire safety measures in place to combat any such calamity in future.
“I had to use 12 fire tenders yesterday to douse the fire. There was only one fire extinguisher, which, too, was outdated,” he said.
Joint Director FE&S said that the university too was lacking ample water sources to deal with such incidents.
“Dal Lake is only source of water, but it is too far. They need to take extraordinary measures to keep their structures safe in future,” he said.
Public Relations Officer at Kashmir University, Faheem Aslam, said a committee headed by Professor MS Bhat has been set up to do fire safety audit of the campus.
The committee has been asked to submit its report within one week.
“No fire safety audit has been done in the campus so far. We convened a high level meeting in this regard. Hopefully, we will put the required fire safety measures in place including an audit,” Islam said.
Unscheduled power cuts affect research in KU
Srinagar, Nov 05: Unscheduled power cuts have severely hit the research work in the University of Kashmir.
“I am doing research on plant ecology and most of my work depends on high definition equipments which work on electricity. I collected plant samples twice from Gulmarg and kept it in freezer for further examination. For four days there was no electricity and with the result my samples became unusable,” said a research scholar.
Another research scholar in Kashmir University said due to frequent power cuts their research work is getting affected. “My equipment developed errors due to power cuts. With the result, it started displaying false readings”, he said.
An official in the Kashmir University said over Rs 25 crore have been sanctioned for 50 different projects in the department of biotechnology, clinical bio-chemistry, botany, zoology, nanotechnology, pharmacy, environmental science, physics, electronics and chemistry.
“The high definition equipment, which works in -80, -20, -120 temperature, are imported from abroad. Regular power cuts are affecting these equipments,” the official said.
Speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, Chief Engineer PDD, Qazi Hashmat said Kashmir University being a premier institute should install a backup power system to meet exigencies.
“PDD has proposed to provide dedicated power supply from 33 KV line. Once the university credits the amount, we will start work on installation of the line,” Qazi said.
Spokesperson of Kashmir University, Professor Shahid Rasool said the issue has not been brought into hid notice. “I will check with the department heads and resolve it as soon as possible,” he said.
Sources said Kashmir University had signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the PDD to provide 24*7 power supply. Sources said two kanals of land was also earmarked for establishing receiving station for uninterrupted power supply. Sources said Kashmir University is paying Rs 4.2 lakh as monthly electricity tariff to the PDD.
CB produces charge sheet against Revenue officials involved in land fraud
Srinagar, Nov 05: According to a statement issued by the Crime Branch Kashmir here the other day, a charge sheet against Revenue officials of Thesil Phalgam involved in land fraud case has been filed.
The accused include then Patwari Laripora now Tehsildar Saller Phalgam, Ghulam Mohammad Itoo, Girdawar Abdul Gani Rather and Abdul Rashid Sheikh, Abdul Razak Sheikh, Ali Mohammad Sheikh and Sakeena.
The accused are involved in case registered under FIR No. 1o/2010 P/S Crime Branch, for commission of offences punishable under section 420, 468, 471, 120-B, 201 RPC read with 5 (2) PC Act. The case has been produced before the Court of Additional Special Judge Anti-Corruption Anantnag.
The statement reads that the case was registered in police station Crime Branch Kashmir on a written complaint received from Abdul Khaliq Sheikh and others from Frislan Phalgam.
The investigation conducted in to the matter has revealed that the officials of Revenue Department in league with the accused has attested mutation fraudulently in respect of land measuring six kanals and nine marlas situated at Estate Firslan Phalgam Anantnag.
During the course of investigation, it was established that the afore-said false and fabricated entry of mutation was attested in favour of the accused on the basis of oral gift when no such gift was made by the actual owner of the land.
The land was sold to Ajaz Ahamd Mir and Showkat Ahmad Shah from Srinagar and the real owners were deprived of the ownership.
JK High Court dismisses petition challenging detention
Srinagar, Nov 05: The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir today dismissed a petition challenging alleged restraints and house detention of Muzzaffar Shah, Begum Khalida Shah and Dr. Mustafa Kamal.
Justice Ali Mohammed Magray observed that the petition is not maintainable and is unnecessary after communication submitted by SSP Srinagar stated that petitioners have neither been put under house arrest at 10, Moulana Azad Road nor their liberty has been curbed.