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Labour crisis continues in valley;Hire local workforce, Govt asks babus

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar: Stung by the exodus of migrant labourers, Jammu and Kashmir government has asked officers to explore the possibilities of engaging local workforce to resume the stalled developmental works in the valley.

On August 2, the state government issued an advisory asking tourists and Amarnath yatris to leave the valley citing militant threats. Three days later, Modi-led government abrogated Article 370 and divided the state into two union territories. The move triggered a panic reaction with non-local laborers making an early exit from the valley. 

Feeling the pinch, government has now asked officers to explore the possibilities of engaging local laborers to resume the developmental works in the valley. Sources said district commissioner Srinagar has been directed to explore the possibility of arranging local laborers for sewage treatment plant being constructed by UEED at Rainawari.

 

“Besides, the contractors from outside the state be contacted and asked to resume the work for which assurance shall be given to them that they will be provided full support boarding and lodging at the site of work with necessary measures for safe stay in case they feel threatened,” the directives read.

Sources said departmental heads have told the government that due to the exodus of skilled labour force and non-availability of mobile phone facilities, they were unable to communicate with sub offices and divisions for the feedback.

Projects worth Rs 2000 crore are at different stage of works in the valley. Prior to the lockdown, government was expecting to complete 1800 languishing projects by the end of this year.

An official of Roads and Buildings Department said most of the semiskilled and skilled work force hail from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and other states.  “It will be difficult to restart developmental works without skilled non-local labourers. Construction works can be restarted only when skilled labourers are available here,” said the official.


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Reorganisation of state: JK, Ladakh to have separate budgets for 5 months

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Oct 11: Jammu and Kashmir and, Ladakh will have separate budgets for five months after they will be officially declared Union Territories on November 1.

A source in the Finance Department said that government has directed the planners to frame a “development-oriented” budget for five months from November 1 to March 2020.

“We had to reframe the budget which was approved in April for the fiscal 2019-2020. We have received proposals from all departments and the budget is expected to be finalized by October 25 for the next five months,” the source said.

 

An official document accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveals that budget for the current financial year has been segregated in two parts –– seven months from April to October as state of J&K and five months from November to March 2020 as UTs.

Sources said the government wants a “people friendly” budget since it will be the first finance bill post abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two union territories.

Government has also announced a schedule for discussion on budget proposals from October 14 to 18 for remaining part of the financial year and 2020-21. This time the government has started the process two months early in a bid to give ample time to the planners for preparing budget for next fiscal. 

Sources said earlier Finance Department would get less time to finalise the budget as the administrative departments were usually submitting their proposals in November. “The proposals for next fiscals have been received and the discussions will start from October 14,” source said.

Source said departments have also provided year wise list of number of daily wagers and casual workers from 2015 to 2018 for the discussions.

The departments have also provided details about the contractors pending liabilities for carrying out major developmental works. 

The heads of departments have also furnished the details about the number of regularized daily wagers who have been adjusted against available vacancies.

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Kashmir situation:Jammu bizmen incur 500 cr loss in two months

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar:  Forget Kashmir, Jammu businessmen are facing the brunt of the lockdown.

Jammu’s fruit traders are the worst hit by the current crisis in Kashmir. The winter capital’s otherwise busiest Narwal Fruit Mandi is currently receiving only 200 to 250 apple trucks against 500 trucks during normal times.

“Basically there is very less business activity in Kashmir. The entire apple produce is sold in local Mandis of Kashmir, which has hit business in Jammu,” Rajesh Gupta, former president of Jammu Fruit Dealers Association, Narwal, told The Kashmir Monitor.

 

Gupta noted that the communication clampdown has compounded the problem as they could not contact their counterparts in Kashmir.

“For the last two months, we have not been able to contact our dealers and growers in Kashmir. Even we don’t know when trucks will reach Jammu. We fear prices of apple may drop further,” Gupta said.

Traders claim that post abrogation of article 370, industrial sector of Jammu alone have suffered Rs 500 crore loss. 

“Jammu and Kashmir is an intra-state economy and there is a major dependence of Jammu traders on the Kashmir market. Everything, except ration and medicine, has been hit in the state. There is a slump in the business currently, which might take time to recover,” said Rakesh Gupta, President Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industries

Traders claim that the manufacturers of the region have been unable to recover payments from their customers in Kashmir.

“We have no contact with the buyers in Kashmir. Payments worth crores of rupees are held up with the traders in the valley and the complete figure is quite difficult to assess,” a trader from Jammu said.

In Kashmir, the losses, as per the estimates of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industries (KCCI), have crossed over Rs 6,000 crore in the last more than two months after the Centre abrogated Article 370 and 35A .

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Disposal of bio-medical waste goes hi-tech

SPCB allots bar codes to healthcare centers

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar: Technology has come handy for State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) to monitor disposal of bio-medical waste in healthcare centers in Kashmir.

Under the new system, SPCB has allotted bar codes to healthcare centers in Kashmir to ensure proper disposal of bio-medical waste.

According to Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules 2016, every healthcare facility has to establish a bar code system for bags containing bio-medical waste (BMW) to be sent out of the premises or place and disposed through common Bio-medical Waste Treatment Facility (CBMWTF).

 

Official documents accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveal that the bar code system will help in tracking and identification of waste from source of generation to intended destination for final treatment and disposal.

“The code will also create real time online monitoring of waste generation, collection, transportation, treatment and disposal. That way regulatory agency can get instantaneous data on bio-medical waste management of a particular healthcare center or common Bio-medical Waste Treatment Facility (CBMWTF),” read the documents

Officials said barcode system will also help in controlling the pilferage of recyclable bio-medical waste. Bio medical waste including needles, injections, amputated body parts and cotton swabs contain a number of infectious bacteria and need to be handled carefully, official said.

Dr. Sabeena, senior scientist and head of biomedical waste management cell at SPCB, said bar codes have been allotted to major healthcare centers in Srinagar, Kulgam and Shopian districts so far.

“The allotment of bar codes to rest of healthcare centers is underway and will be completed in a week’s time,” she said.

Director State Pollution Control Board Kashmir (SPCB) Rafi Ahmad said the main objective of bar code system is to develop high health index.

 “The bar code shall be made operational on restoration of internet services. The infrastructure and facilities required for implementation of the bar code system are being put in place in such institutions of the state,” he said.

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