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Metro project moving slower than traffic in twin capitals of JK

Firdous Hassan

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By Firdous Hassan

Srinagar, Jun 22: The one and a half year-old proposal to provide the twin capitals of the state with metro trains has seen no headway.

Under the Mass Rapid Transport, the cities of Jammu and Srinagar were to get the metro train services at a tentative capital cost of Rs 15,881 crore.

 

While Detailed Project Report (DPR) was prepared and preliminary studies conducted by a firm engaged by the government last year, the project seems to be going nowhere.

As per the official sources, in August last year the firm submitted its Draft Plan to the Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) for 30 kilometre-route and 45-kilometre route in Jammu and Srinagar, respectively.

“However, no further step was taken in this regard,” a source said.

They said no formal approval has been given to the nodal agency for staring the project.

“After the submission of the Draft Plan by the firm, there was a need to conduct more studies under new Metro Policy of Government of India-2017. But no approval has come from the government to the nodal agency yet.”

Chief Executing Officer ERA, Farooq Ahmad Lone, said the project needed a few more studies before execution.

“We have asked the firm to conduct another survey, after which the project may be executed,” he said.

The proposed routes for Mass Rapid Transport System in winter capital are Bantalab to Bus Stand with 7 stations, Nagbani to Bus Stand with 4 stations and Bari Brahmana to Bus Stand with 7 stations.

In Srinagar city, the tentative routes suggested in the City Mobility Plan are from Nowgam Railway Station to SKIMS via Bagh-e-Mehtab, Rambagh, Jawahar Nagar, Secretariat, Barbarshah, Nowhatta, Hawal, Alamgari Bazar and Pantha Chowk to Shalteng via Lasjan, Badami Bagh, Lal Chowk, Civil Secretariat, Tatoo Ground and Bemina.

Metro Rail is an efficient public transport in terms of energy consumption which runs 15 meters below the ground or 15 meters upper the ground at a speed of 34 kilometres per hour with 20 seconds stoppage at each station.

The service is seen as an alternative to combat the traffic mess due to congested roads within both the cities of the state.


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Upcoming snow spell: Avalanche warning issued for Kashmir, Ladakh districts

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Srinagar, Jan 19: Kashmir areas experienced fresh snowfall on Saturday, with the weather office forecasting more in store for the next three days.
“A western disturbance (WD) is presently active over the state under whose influence moderate to heavy snowfall is likely to occur in the valley till January 23 after which the intensity of the WD will start decreasing,” a Met Department official said here.
District administrations have set up helplines to help prevent any untoward incident due to the heavy snowfall.
Meanwhile Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan Saturday issued fresh avalanche warning for nine avalanche prone districts of Kashmir division.
The warning has been issued for the avalanche-prone areas of district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh.
As per the hand out, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has directed the Deputy Commissioners of all these districts to advise the people living in avalanche prone areas not to venture out to avoid the loss of lives.
The Div Com also directed the concerned DC’s to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, Police and Para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident.
While the nightlong cloud cover increased minimum temperatures throughout the valley on Saturday, the maximum temperatures are expected to drop further, the weather official said.
Srinagar recorded minus 2.0 degrees Celsius, Pahalgam minus 4.4 and Gulmarg minus 7.0 as the minimum temperatures.
Leh town had minus 9.2 degrees Celsius and Kargil minus 18.9 as the night’s lowest temperature.
Jammu city recorded 8.3 degrees Celsius, Katra 9.1, Batote 3.9, Bannihal 2.3 and Bhaderwah 1.3 as the minimum temperatures.

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UN clearly did its job: Guterres on Kashmir human rights report

Agencies

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United Nations: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday hoped that India and Pakistan will engage in a “meaningful dialogue” to resolve their issues.
The UN chief also said he has been offering his “good offices in relation to the dialogue between the two countries that, until now, had no conditions of success.”
Guterres was speaking to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.
“I hope that the importance of both India and Pakistan is such in international affairs, I hope that the two countries will be able to engage in a meaningful dialogue,” he said.
The UN chief was responding to a question on his repeated urging of dialogue between the two South Asian neighbours.
In relation to the human rights situation, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has produced recently a very detailed report. So, the UN has clearly done its job in that regard, Guterres said to a question by a Pakistan journalist on the situation in Kashmir.

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Day after grenade attack, forces conduct search op in Lal Chowk

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Srinagar: A joint search operation was launched by the forces and police in the commercial Hub Lal Chowk area of Srinagar on Saturday.
The search came a day after the grenade attack took place in the locality, which left a vehicle and windowpanes of some shops damaged.
Witnesses said that a large contingent of police and paramilitary troopers were deployed near the Clock Tower here while the frisking was also intensified.
They said that drones too were used during the operation.
However, a top police official said that it was a routine exercise ahead of upcoming Republic Day.

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