Approves Gulmarg Master Plan
Jammu, Nov 22:The State Administrative Council (SAC) which met in JammuThursday under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved the Gulmarg Master Plan – 2032, Phase-I, with Phase-II of the plan to be completed by end of June, 2019.
Advisors to the Governor, B B Vyas, K Vijay Kumar, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai and K K Sharma, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam and Principal Secretary to the Governor UmangNarula were present at the meeting.
It is pertinent to mention that in absence of any Master Plan for Gulmarg and its surroundings, its ecological fragile ecosystem had suffered unstructured development, encroachment and conversion of green cover into impervious surfaces.
The Master Plan envisages developing Gulmarg into an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable ace tourist destination. The Master Plan envisages maximizing the contribution of Gulmarg and its surrounds to the State’s economy, preserve its rich natural and cultural heritage, and at the same time provide the best hospitality, excellent value for money and memorable experiences to every visitor, develop Gulmarg as one of the preferred all-weather international tourist destinations, ensuring community participation without compromising on its ecological balance. for all new constructions and reconstructions, the norms as laid down in Master Plan shall strictly be adhered to without any compromise
The main features of the Master Plan Gulmarg-2032 inter-alia include that Tangmarg Area in the vicinity of Gulmarg shall be developed as Satellite-Tourist-Township with flexible set of Development Control Regulations (DCRs) to attract developers for high end tourism infrastructure. This concept is aimed at reducing further foot print of development in Gulmarg which has very limited carrying capacity. Significant part of GDA especially Gulmarg, Khillanmarg, Botapathri and nearby areas included in the territorial jurisdiction of Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary/Biosphere reserve etc will not be used for any high built up infrastructure development other than what is proposed in view of ecological constraints and sensitivities involved. Instead such areas have been proposed for leisure- tourism, eco-tourism, and adventure tourism.
The expansion of existing footprints of tourism infrastructure shall be allowed in accordance with the norms laid down in the Master Plan document, besides it also provides for Facade control/design guidelines along with DCRs which are very important for imageability of the destination.
Bed capacity of Gulmarg has been further supplemented by extra accommodation in the form of tourist resort in the south-West of Bowl and hutments and Camping sites on the western end of Leopard Valley besides eco-tourism areas as per the proposals contained herein. The Master Plan also envisages development of tourist resorts in Tangmarg making it the night stay destination and limiting the bed capacity in Gulmarg below its holding capacity.
The Plan envisages designation and development of Botapathri, Khillanmarg and other areas en-route to Botapathri as model ecotourism sites in collaboration with the local communities, Wildlife Department, Forest Department and GD, development of Drung as heritage village with limited tourist activity through the development of guest houses with the urban design features of vernacular architecture and banning of any kind of compound walling in the area, development of Maahayeen, Qazipur, and Ferozpur as model villages with focus on country guest house accommodation and low intensity tourist activities, development of Baba Reshie area as heritage area with facilities for pilgrim tourism besides preserve villages in the region and facilitate the local communities to develop ecotourism and guest houses.
The Master Plan also envisages biodiversity parks of Kashmir Himalayan Flora in Gulmarg; separate entry and exit points to avoid traffic congestions and Pony Management to arrest horse dung posing a serious problem in the resort as most of it is littered creating unpleasant landscape.
The preparations of Master Plan-2032 were initiated pursuant to the orders of the Hon’ble High Court in PIL titled Mohammad Rafiq Zargar Vs. State and Others. The preparation of the Master Plan Gulmarg was preceded by Environmental Impact Assessment and GIS mapping of the Gulmarg part of the local area. The Draft Master Plan-2032 prepared by the Town Planning Organization, Kashmir has been extensively examined by the Tourism Department for the last 5 years with Hon’ble High Court closely monitoring its preparation.
Brings JK Bank under purview of RTI, CVC, Legislature
The State Administrative Council (SAC) which met in Jammu Thursday under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik in a significant decision approved the proposal for treating the Jammu and Kashmir Bank Limited as a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU).
The SAC approved that the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act, 2009 shall be applicable to the J&K Bank Ltd like other PSUs besides the Bank shall follow CVC guidelines.
The J&K Bank Ltd shall be accountable to the State Legislature like other State PSUs. The Annual Report of the J&K Bank Ltd shall be placed before the State Legislature through the State Finance Department.
The Finance Department will issue appropriate directions in respect of these to the J&K Bank Ltd for observance.
The J&K Bank Ltd established in 1938 is the only State Government promoted bank in the country, with State Government currently having 59.3% shareholding.
As the State is a major shareholder in the J&K Bank Ltd, a need was felt that it should have a character of a PSU which is subject to general supervision and access for enhanced transparency in the transaction of its business to promote public trust.
The purpose of the SAC decision is not to question the day to day activities of the Bank management but a step towards strengthening better corporate governance.
Approves J&K Aadhaar Bill
The State Administrative Council (SAC) which met here in Jammu on Thursday under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved the ‘Jammu and Kashmir Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2018’.
The Act provides legal and statutory backing to the use of Aadhaar and would address privacy and security concerns of the residents, who have to use Aadhaar identity created on the basis of their unique biometrics and demographic details, to avail the benefits of various schemes of the Government.
The primary purpose of the Act will be to make sure that biometrics of the residents are used for unique Aadhaar number generation which can further be used for authentication of identity of targeted beneficiaries of various public services and subsidies accruing out of public funds. This in the process will obliterate the chances of leakages and siphoning of public funds.
Under this Act, the Unique Identification Authority shall generate Aadhaar, ensure security, confidentiality of identity information and authentication of records of individuals. The Authority shall also take all the necessary measures to ensure that the information in the possession or control of the Authority, including information stored in the Central Identities Data Repository, is secured and protected against access by the adoption and implementation of appropriate technical and organizational security measures. Like the central act, the State Aadhaar Act restricts data sharing, search and download. This Act rules out the possibility of the surveillance, as well as the possibility to identify people for some collateral purpose.
The Bill takes into consideration the judgment of Supreme Court in the case titled Justice K. K. Puttaswamy and another V/s Union of India and others. The Bill has been modelled primarily on the Central Act, however, certain provisions have been added to address state specific issues.
It has been specifically provided in clause (9) of the Bill that Aadhaar number shall not be an evidence of citizenship or domicile, or being a permanent resident of the State.
Creates 48 posts for ICPS, JJBs, CWCs
The State Administrative Council (SAC) which met in Jammu on Thursday under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik accorded sanction to the creation of 48 posts in various categories for the Mission Directorate, Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs)/Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) and Selection cum Oversight Committees established for the implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act in the State.
The posts include 1 post of Mission Director for the Mission Directorate, 1 post each of Private Secretary, Junior Stenographer and Junior Assistant for the Selection-cum-Oversight Committee and 22 posts of Senior Assistants & 22 posts of Welfare Officers for the 22 Child Welfare Committees.
The provision of staff will strengthen the implementation of Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2013 and also end adhocism in the matter of appointment of Mission Director, ICPS.
ICPS a Centrally Sponsored Scheme is a promoter for the effective and meaningful implementation of Juvenile Justice Act/Rules. The scheme which runs on 90:10 pattern, contemplates an independent arrangement and architecture for the welfare of juveniles and their protection, both for children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection.
The existing apparatus was insufficient and not aligned to meet the growing challenges encountered by the Social Welfare Department particularly in respect to staffing which is not provided under the ICPS scheme or structure existing in the state which is the institution of Juvenile Justice Board and Welfare Committees formulated under the Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice Act/Rules.
The Social Welfare Department will outsource or engage on part time basis, contingent paid workers for the services of Peons or SafaiKaramchiaries for these units.
Approves JK Right to Info (Amendment) Bill
The State Administrative Council (SAC) which met in Jammu on Thursday under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved enactment of the ‘Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2018.
The Amendment will facilitate appointment of State Chief Information Commissioner and State Information Commissioners during the Governor’s Rule or Presidents Rule.
Presently, the position of State Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and State Information Commissioner (IC) are lying vacant in the three-member Commission. The Commission has been facing difficulties in absence of the requisite strength.
Azad on Jharkhand lynching: Keep new India with you, give us old India
New Delhi, Jun 24: Coming down heavily on the government over recent incidents of lynching and crime in Jharkhand, leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said the state has become a factory of lynching and violence, “requesting” Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “give us our Old India where there was love, culture.”
“Dalits and Muslims are killed there every week. The PM, we are with you in the fight of ‘Sabka saath sabka vikas’, but it should be there for people to see it. We can’t see it anywhere,” Azad said in Rajya Sabha.
“I request you to keep the New India to yourself and give us our Old India where there was love, culture. Hindus used to feel the pain when Muslims and Dalits used to get hurt. When something used to get into the eyes of Hindus, Muslims and Dalits used to shed tears for them,” he added.
“In Old India, there was no hatred, anger or lynching. New India is one where humans are enemies of each other. You won’t be scared of animals in a jungle, but you’ll be scared of humans in a colony. Give us India where Hindus, Muslims,Sikhs and Christians live for each other,” he said.
In yet another lynching incident, a Muslim man was beaten up mercilessly for over 18 hours on the suspicion of theft in Jharkhand’s Kharsawan district on Saturday. The 24-year-old victim, identified as Tabrez Ansari, was attacked by a mob on June 18 and was later handed over to the police. He had been in the judicial custody since June 18 and was taken to a hospital on June 22 after his condition deteriorated. On the same day, Ansari succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.
Several videos of the incident emerged on social media show a man hitting Tabrez brutally with a wooden stick while forcing him to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”. The videos of the Jharkhand mob lynching case have gone viral on social networking sites ever since the incident came to the light.
GoI approves amendments to give more teeth to NIA
New Delhi, Jun 24: The Union Cabinet is learnt to have approved a proposal to amend two laws to give more teeth to the NIA in probing ‘terror’ cases in India and abroad, sources said Monday.
Separate bills will be introduced in Parliament in the coming days to amend the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, they said.
The amendments will also allow the NIA probe cybercrimes and cases of human trafficking, sources aware of the proposal said.
Amendment to Schedule 4 of the UAPA will allow the NIA to designate an individual suspected to have ‘terror links as a terrorist’. As of now, only organisations are designated as ‘terrorist organisations’.
The NIA was set up in 2009 in the wake of the Mumbai attack that had claimed 166 lives.
Since 2017, the Union Home Ministry has been considering the two laws to give more power to the NIA to meet fresh challenges, the sources pointed out.
Another proposal to introduce a bill to extend the facility of proxy voting to overseas Indians could not be taken up Monday.
A similar bill had lapsed following the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha last month.
“The agenda of the Law Ministry stands postponed,” a functionary said.
As of now, overseas Indians are free to cast their votes in constituencies they are registered.
The Bill seeks to give them the option of proxy voting, which is as of now available to service personnel only.
Another proposal to amend the Representation of the People Act related to the spouses of service voters could not be taken up on Monday.
As of now, an armyman’s wife is entitled to be enrolled as a service voter, but a woman army officer’s husband is not, according to the provisions in the electoral law.
The bill proposes to replace the term ‘wife’ with ‘spouse’, thus making the provision gender-neutral. Members of the armed forces, central armed police forces, personnel of state police forces posted outside their state and employees of the Centre posted outside India are eligible to be enrolled as service voters.
Youths click selfies, walk alongside Leopard in Kishtwar
Srinagar, Jun 24: Pointing towards the increasing man-animal conflict is J&K, a video that went viral on Monday shows a few youth carelessly walking right alongside a leopard on a tarred road while clicking photos and videos in some mountainous region.
The incident reportedly took place in Chingam area of Kishtwar district. The video shows at least three youth audaciously ambling near the leopard that, surprisingly, isn’t aggressive.
The incident comes to the fore days after days after two leopards were spotted in residential areas of Budgam and Srinagar.
Deputy conservator of forests, wild life division, Kashmir, Rouf Zargar had told The Kashmir Monitor that one female leopard and an adult cub were spotted at Ompora, Budgam.
“They were spotted in the adjacent villages of Budgam and Airport. We are doing our best to trace them. Till the time we catch those, people should refrain from moving out during nights and in the wee hours,” he said.
There has been a spike in man-animal conflict in the last few years with several incidents of attacks by bears and leopards taking place in multiple areas of the valley.
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