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Ladakh to get all-weather road connectivity soon




Leh, Nov 27: Ladakh region has got one more connecting axis with the rest of the country, that too an all-weather road giving more strategic advantage.

The cold desert will now be accessible by a double lanned motorable road from Manali in Himachal Pradesh via Zanskar of Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir, which cuts through the Himalayan Mountains.

The road will be an advantage strategically in the Kargil region.


Project Vijayak of Border Roads Organization has constructed the road network while cutting through tough mountains into a motorable road which will enhance interstate connectivity with the Himachal. The new road connectivity shall bring socio-economic benefits for the local population besides providing a strategic advantage for the country. This will be the third axis to Ladakh region after Srinagar-Leh and Manali via Leh routes

Giving details of the project, BRO officials said that the initial trekking path connected Jammu and Kashmir at Padum in Kargil’s Zanskar to Darcha in Lahaul valley of Himachal Pradesh through Shinkula pass 16600 fts in Lahaul valley has been widened and converted into a motorable road by the relentless efforts of the BRO men by using modern machinery.

Nimmu-Padam-Darcha axis is a strategically important road being developed by 126RCC and 81 RCC of 762 BRTF of Project Vijayak to extend the this connectivity to Leh.

Darcha lies 32 kms ahead of Keylong on the Manali-Leh highway. The distance from Darcha to Padum is 148 kms. Officials said connectivity between Padum and Darcha was achieved in October this year due to relentless efforts of BRO personnels when machinery and men from both sides met at Lakpan village, about 12 kms ahead of the Shinku La, achieving a significant milestone.Officlas said in the first phase of work, connectivity was planned between Padam to Shinkula- a total distance of 104 km. Col Rajeev Lohani Commander 762 BRTF pointed out that Inspite of the limited working season and difficult terrain, formation cutting was completed by October this year. The only task remaining was a 160 ft Bailey bridge near Purnia village at the junction of Phutkal and Tshrap River.

Col Rajeev Lohani added that with early snowfall this year and temperatures dipping down to -15°C, the construction of bridge was a major challenge, which was overcome by the determination of Bro personnel’s in Padam Sector.

Despite the challenges posed by low temperatures and rarified air reduce the efficiency of machines and material, rock faces and surface as high as 15 meters was cut, he said adding that these areas have no telecommunication facilities available making things even more difficult.

He said that 126 RCC successfully launched 160ft Bailey Bridge which now connects the villages of Char, Purnia, Kuru, Kurgiak with the mainland population in this sector. “This connectivity will go a long way to assist in socio-economic development of Zanskar and Kargil regions and BRO will always live upto it’s task and motto of connecting the remotest areas to the mainland,” Chief Engineer Vijayak, Brig Amit Sohal said and applauded the men working in these hostile and inhospitable conditions. He said that the Darcha-Padum link will be further improved to wider formation width in next summer when work will be resumed.

While referring to the construction of tunnel Chief Engineer said a proposal to construct a tunnel under the Shinku La pass is under consideration to provide all-weather connectivity between the two states amid hilly terrain.



Entrepreneur duo comes up with ‘Fast Beetle’, valley’s ‘first’ logistics company

Hirra Azmat



Srinagar, Jan 22: In the fast paced world, convenience and ease of access is a mantra that no business can afford to ignore.

In Kashmir too, the customer demands his pound of flesh and businesses have begun to cater to this aspect.

Enter ‘Fast Beetle’, a specialised delivery service that began operations last year and claims to be the first logistics company in the entire valley that provides end-to-end service to the entrepreneurs, specifically women.


Owned by two young entrepreneurs, Sami Ullah and Abid Rashid, the logistics company promises to take on the challenge of fulfilling the promise of timely delivery. They ensure that orders received from many valley based e-commerce websites reach the customer within a day.

After completing his MBA, Sami Ullah, 27, started working with a company called ‘Kashmir Box’. He came across many e-commerce website owners who were facing problems in the delivery of their products. This triggered the idea behind his startup.“What I observed was that the issue was mostly faced by female entrepreneurs. They find difficult to move out from their home every day. So I decided why not set up a delivery service,” recalls Sami Ullah.

Last year in September, Sami Ullah started working on the idea along with his friend Abid, who too has an MBA.
After two months of research, the duo gradually built their network with the local e-commerce websites, soon interacting with over 50 entrepreneurs, mostly women.

“In the first stage, we did the mapping of Instagram pages and accordingly approached them,” recounts Sami Ullah.

The founders started the company with a moderate capital saved from their previous jobs and they worked on a minimum-profit basis.

However, their start-up didn’t progress the way they had planned. The challenges came as the business started to evolve.“As the customers multiplied, the phone calls about the delivery details increased too.

The clients would call us repeatedly to ensure if their product was delivered. The whole process became tedious,” says Sami Ullah.

The duo then developed a software that streamlined the order details including the delivery status.“When the entrepreneurs create an order, the company receives an e-mail automatically through the system. Our admin assigns the delivery boys and then forwards the details of the order.  It provides an end to end protection to our clients,” explains Sami Ullah.

At present, the duo functions from a warehouse in Zaldagar area of old-city.

They have five people working for them.

The company receives over 50-60 orders on an average every day and has, so far, delivered over 4,000 orders.

They now earn double than what their jobs offered and are proud owners of five motorcycles used for the delivery purposes.“Most deliveries that we do are for cosmetics, medicines, clothes, shoes and other grocery items,” says Sami Ullah.

The company charges the client a commission on the total value of the order.

The company has extended its cash on delivery services in Anantnag, Sopore and Baramulla and plans to start a franchise model in every district in the future.

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No public transport in late hours; authorities say electric buses in offing

Sakeena Banday



Srinagar, Jan 22: Authorities have failed to provide inter and intra-district public transport service for the people of Kashmir, especially during the late afternoon and evening hours.

Each working day, commuters can be seen jostling for seats in private cabs here, a limited number of which ply to and fro the districts of Kashmir.
At Jehangir Chowk in Srinagar, people are seen anxiously waiting for a cab in late hours, knowing if they miss one, they may have to wait for hours for another.

A similar situation is also faced by the commuters on various city routes, who complain about the absence of passenger buses and cabs.


In addition to the hassle, the passengers pay a much higher fare than they would have had there been any government transport service available.
“After 5 pm, cabs running from Lal Chowk to Nishat are difficult to find and even after waiting for hours at Jehangir Chowk, we hardly find any transport in the evening,” said a resident of Nishat, who travels to the city-centre each day.

The problem, commuters say, aggravates in winters because of lesser daylight.“There is hardly any direct cab service between Lal Chowk and Soura. I travel by bus which moves very slowly, wasting a good hour and a half for the journey that can be completed within 30 minutes,” a resident from Soura said.

Principal Secretary Transport Department, Asgar Hassan Samoon said the government’s plan to run eco-friendly, battery-powered buses will be rolled out in Jammu and Kashmir soon.“It will take some time because we need to set up electric charge-stations. Till then, by the month of March, 50 to 70 city buses should be started (sic),” he said.

Asked about inter-district transport, Samoon said: “We will try to start night services and transport services for long routes as well.”

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JK fully prepared for census of water bodies: Revenue Deptt



Jammu, Jan 22: Department of Revenue today said that Financial Commissioner (Revenue), who is also Census Commissioner, has initiated all the requisite measures for smooth conduct of 6th Minor Irrigation Census and first census of Water Bodies with the reference year 2017-18.
The census is being conducted in Jammu and Kashmir along with other States by the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
For conducting the census efficiently, field functionaries of Revenue Department viz Tehsildars/ Naib-Tehsildars/ Girdawars/Patwaries/OQs have been imparted training at their respective District Headquarters in all Districts except Leh and Kargil by the Planning Cell in the Office of Financial Commissioner, Revenue.
The schedules along with Guidelines and Instruction Manual have been distributed among the Tehsils. Village directory required by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India has been prepared and sent to the concerned.
“Deputy Commissioners have been authorized as per plan of activities approved by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to procure Mobile Devices for each Tehsil as required for capturing photographs of water bodies, a statement of the Department said.
“A mobile-friendly app/software would be made available by the concerned Ministry.”
All enumerators have been kept in the state of readiness for field operation which shall commence as per the time schedule to be circulated by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India, the statement added.

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January 2019
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